Death of Tom Keaveney

Diageo Ireland has expressed sympathy on the death of Tom Keaveney, former Chairman of Gilbeys Ireland - and one of the core team involved in the launch of Baileys Irish Cream in the early 1970s.

Gilbeys Ireland was one of the companies that was a forerunner to Diageo, which was founded in 1997 with the merger of the Guinness and Grand Met companies.

“Tom was an iconic figure in the Irish drinks industry,” commented Grainne Wafer, Global Brand Director with Baileys, “As Gilbeys’ Sales Director in Ireland he was crucial to getting Baileys, then a completely unknown product, listed in Irish bars and restaurants when it launched.

“He also pioneered Baileys’ presence in Irish airports which was absolutely critical to establishing Baileys as an export brand.”

Baileys is now one of the most successful spirits brands in the world, currently ranking seventh in the international league of top-selling global premium spirit brands.

“We extend our sympathy to his wife Mary, children and grandchildren. Tom will be both sadly missed and fondly-remembered by his former colleagues and associates throughout the hospitality sector, at home and abroad.”

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