Fionnuala Sheehan to step down

After 12 years leading MEAS, which established drinkaware in 2007, Fionnuala Sheehan is leaving the organisation in order to pursue other career opportunities.

Niamh Gallagher will replace Fionnuala and will be responsible for building on the success of the brand to date as well as implementing a new strategy to expand drinkaware by transitioning it to a new independent structure modelled on that of the influential UK Drinkaware Trust and widening its range of stakeholders to further address alcohol misuse in Irish society.

The organisation has led the way in developing campaigns in Ireland aimed at increasing awareness of drinking responsibly and changing attitudes towards excessive drinking.

She will lead the future development of drinkaware, which will include continued collaboration with the influential UK Drinkaware Trust, whose independent model is based on the active support and participation of a broad range of partners including Government agencies, retailers, community groups, healthcare professionals and the wider alcohol industry.

Fionnuala will work with the new director on the current transitioning programme and will step down at the end of November.

Niamh Gallagher commented, “By involving a broader range of stakeholders we can achieve even greater results in promoting responsible drinking and addressing the misuse of alcohol in Irish society which remains one of Ireland’s most challenging social issues”.

Niamh joins drinkaware from Women for Election, a not-for-profit organisation which she co-founded in 2011 and where she’s now a board member. Prior to that she worked as Research and Policy Analyst at the Children’s Rights Alliance in Dublin and as researcher at Demos think-tank in London. She recently completed an MBA at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business and also holds a Masters Degree in Politics from the London School of Economics as well as a BA in European Studies from Trinity College Dublin.

David Smith, Country Director for Diageo in Ireland, spoke on behalf of the MEAS member companies when he stated, “Since the establishment of MEAS in 2002 and the establishment of the initiative in 2007 Fionnuala has undertaken great work to develop and implement impactful campaigns against alcohol misuse and the strength of the drinkaware brand and the quality of its campaigning to date are testament to Fionnuala’s work over the last 12 years”.

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