(27 Jan 2015)
  •  NOffLA calls for a ban on the below cost selling of alcohol

  • Redmonds Off-Licence, Ranelagh wins National Off-Licence of the Year 2015

Tuesday 27th January: The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has called on the Government to introduce the promised Public Health Bill immediately as a matter of urgency. The call was made at the annual ‘Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2015’ which took place last night at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Dublin.

Now in their nineteenth year, the awards recognise and showcase excellence in the alcohol retailing industry. The awards highlight those retailers that offer exceptional service to customers and demonstrate excellence in retail standards.

Speaking at the awards, NOffLA Chairman, Gary O’Donovan said, “The annual awards are an opportunity for us to come together, recognising and celebrating the expertise of independent alcohol experts from all over Ireland. It is important however, to remember that we are still operating in a very challenging economic climate where retailers as a whole are struggling day-to-day all across Ireland.

“As highly trained responsible independent retailers, NOffLA members are conscious of their responsibilities to the communities they serve. This is not just to provide employment and spend locally, but also to promote the safe retailing of alcohol. We are therefore calling on Minister Alex White TD to follow through on his commitment to public health and introduce the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill as a priority.

“The Bill will see the introduction of a minimum-unit-price and restrictions on the marketing and advertising of alcohol, as part of the broader measures. We are also calling for a ban on the below cost selling of alcohol to limit the availability of cheap alcohol and discourage binge drinking, and associated health and public order issues.”

The awards, which included 40 finalists, saw Redmonds Off-Licence, Ranelagh awarded ‘National Off-Licence of the Year 2015’, The O’Donovan Group, Cork won ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year 2015’ and Agnieszka Niemiec of Baggot Street Wines won ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2015’.

All 40 finalists were awarded certificates of either ‘Standard’, ‘Merit’ or ‘Excellence’ based on their performance and other awards on the night included:

Specialist Off-Licence Group of the Year 2015 – The O’Donovan Group, Cork
Best First Time Entrant 2015 – Number 21, Cork
Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2015 – McCambridge’s, Galway
Customer Service Award of the Year 2015 – O’Donovans, Mallow
Spirit Specialist of the Year 2015 – Deveney’s of Dundrum
Beer Specialist of the Year 2015 – Martins Off-Licence, Fairview
Wine Specialist of the Year 2015 – Blackrock Cellar
Connaught/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2015 – Dicey’s Off-Licence, Ballyshannon
Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2015 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny
Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2015 – McHugh’s Off-Licence Kilbarack
Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2015 – Next Door, Forum Waterford

Judging for the awards began in June 2014, which was the beginning of a tough but rewarding journey for all of this year’s award winners.   The process culminated in a blind wine tasting which involved participants answering questions about the unidentified wines. Final awards were allocated following this process.


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