Pubs can't be let wither like post offices and garda stations
When I take up the role of president of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) I will be the first female to hold this position. For decades women have played a crucial role in the Irish pub, working behind the bar and managing premises.
It is a symbolic breakthrough that the Irish pub trade now has a female at the helm. But symbolism alone will not address the issues we face. It does not matter what gender the president is if they don't work hard to fight for those we represent.
I run a pub in Nenagh called Rocky O'Sullivan's, along with my husband Jim, and it has been in the family for four generations. Ours, like 90pc of all Irish pubs, is very much a family-run pub, facing the same business challenges as every other small business owner. Nenagh is a town that has experienced its economic troughs and peaks over the last decade.