Now in their 20th year, the awards, which took place at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, Dublin, recognise and showcase excellence in the off-licence sector, highlighting those retailers that offer exceptional service to customers and who demonstrate excellence in retail standards.Other awards on the night included:
Specialist Off-Licence Group of the Year 2016 – The O’Donovan Group, Cork
Best First Time Entrant 2016 – 64 Wines Glasthule
Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2016 – Shiel’s Londis Malahide
Customer Service Award of the Year 2016 – O’Donovans, Ballincollig
Spirit Specialist of the Year 2016 – James Redmond & Sons
Beer Specialist of the Year 2016 – Martins Off-Licence, Fairview
Wine Specialist of the Year 2016 – Jus de Vine, Portmarnock
Connaught/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2016 – McCambridge’s, Galway
Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2016 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny
Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2016 – Blackrock Cellar
Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2016 – Number 21, Midleton
Judging for the awards began in June 2015 with the ongoing judging process culminating in a blind wine tasting which involved participants answering questions about the unidentified wines.
Speaking at the awards, NOffLA Chairman Gary O’Donovan called for the government to move swiftly and introduce the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.
Welcoming the Bill’s Minimum Unit Pricing and “affordable structural separation” measures he added, “However, we believe that in order for minimum unit pricing to be truly effective, the Government needs to introduce a ban on the below-invoice-cost selling of alcohol” and he pointed out that the cost of alcohol was excessively high due to government taxation.
“Excise duty levels were introduced during the economic crisis as an emergency measure and we’re still paying for it today,” he said, “This needs to be addressed if we are to play our part and fully contribute to and partake of the ongoing recovery.”