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President of Irish Guild of Sommeliers disputes news article

Published:  03 November, 2009

The president of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers disputes a recent article that implied French and international sommeliers attracted to the country during the boom were leaving Ireland.

The president of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers disputes a recent article that implied French and international sommeliers attracted to the country during the boom were leaving Ireland.

The article printed in the Independent on October 18, said: "sommeliers are also no longer arriving in Ireland as job opportunities have almost totally dried up." It further named a number of sommeliers that had left Ireland to go elsewhere.

President, Simon Keegan said: "It was a silly article written by a doom and gloom journalist.

"Yes, the Irish economy is under some strain and yes, drinking habits have changed, just as we see in reports from the UK.

Keegan says, tradition sees many young French Sommeliers come over to Ireland to work, practice their English, wine skills and either go back to France, or carry on with their wine travels to different countries around the world.

"Young people are much more transient today. My Hungarian assistant took up an opportunity to gain further experience by going to work in Dubai."

"Competing in our Best Sommelier of Ireland Competition 2009 on November 2, we have two Polish sommeliers, two French, and a German contender alongside our Irish entrants. This is this diverse nature of the hospitality trade that we deal with now," says Keegan.

"We do have an overall problem in that the wine and restaurant trade here is still lagging behind in understanding the concept of a sommelier, and it's difficult to break the perception that a sommelier is a revenue centre and not a cost one."


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