Pictured are Averyl Quinn and Kevin McParland from the Irish Pubs Global Federation.

Mayo barman a contender for Bartender of the Year

JOHNNY Smith from the Towers Bar, Westport, has been included in the shortlist for the Bartender of the Year in this year's annual Irish Pubs Global awards.

The awards ceremony will take place during the fifth Irish Pubs Global Gathering, taking place from September 26 to 28 in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin.

The awards celebrate business excellence and success in the sector.

Also from the west, An Púcan in Galway has been nominated for Best Native Irish Pub. 

Senator Billy Lawless will deliver the keynote address to over 600 Irish pub operators from Ireland and abroad at this year’s event, which includes a conference, trade exhibition and awards.

Senator Lawless, who previously headed up the Vintners Federation Ireland (VFI), is the owner of a number of pubs and restaurants in Chicago, employing over 300 people. Before emigrating to Chicago in the 1990s, he was a prominent publican and hotelier in his native Galway.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Creating a Destination Pub’ and topics to be discussed include food and drink trends, entertainment, boosting profitability and pub design.