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Campaign denied imminent moves hours before Diageo chief pulled out

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David Smith (left) made statement on RTÉ yesterday morning

David Smith (left) made statement on RTÉ yesterday morning

David Smith (left) made statement on RTÉ yesterday morning

THE 'Stop-Out-Of-Control' drinking campaign has refused to say when the rest of the board were informed of the decision of Diageo's representative to step down.

On Tuesday night, the Irish Independent learned a major announcement in relation to the campaign was imminent.

When asked if a statement would be made in relation to the campaign on Tuesday night, a spokesman for the campaign said no announcement was planned for that night.

But by 11am yesterday morning, the drinks company's country director David Smith had announced on the 'Today with Seán O'Rourke' programme on RTÉ Radio 1 that he would be stepping down from the board.

The spokesman yesterday said: "There wasn't going to be announcement on Tuesday night.

"What I was asked was 'we hear there is a story coming tonight and that you might be issuing a statement. I said 'no I'm not'."

He added: "I'm aware of things today that might happen tomorrow and might not.

"Nobody is going to pre-empt events. It doesn't happen because there is a rumour something might happen.

"I was asked 'were we planning to make a statement last night' and I said 'no I was not planning to make a statement last night'...There was no allusion to 'we hear you might be making a statement vis-a-vis this or the other'. So that's what I answered on Tuesday night."

He said he "wasn't getting into commentary on that" when asked when the board was informed of Mr Smith's decision to step down.

Irish Independent