Wednesday 21 March 2018

Time to bring back the cream of Irish coffee, airport is told

Barry Duggan

A LOCAL authority has formally asked one of the country's biggest airports to retrain their staff to make a proper Irish coffee.

Clare County Council has written to Shannon Airport Authority asking it to ensure bar staff are the cream of the crop when it comes to making the famous traditional cocktail.

The bizarre request comes on foot of complaints about the general quality of Irish coffees at the airport.

These prompted local Fianna Fail councillor Pat McMahon to table a motion asking the council to bring these complaints to the attention of the airport.

It may seem much ado about nothing, but people living in the region take their Irish coffees seriously, according to Mr McMahon.

In fact, the bar at Shannon Airport is named after Joe Sheridan -- the man who invented the Irish coffee in 1942. A plaque at the bar commemorates his role.

The chef originally worked in Foynes, Co Limerick, where he came up with the idea of mixing hot coffee, Irish whiskey and sugar, stirred, and topped with thick cream.

He starting trying out his now-famous cocktail on customers in Shannon Airport where he went to work after it opened. But it appears Sheridan's proud heritage is now under threat from slipping standards at the airport.

"Basically there is a lot of new staff working there. Some of them come from across the world and would not be aware of the heritage or tradition of Irish coffees.

"It wasn't like this before and something should be done about it," Mr McMahon told the Irish Independent.

"I think it is important that they keep the standard of Irish coffees at the airport as high as possible."

The Fianna Fail councillor insisted his motion to ask airport management to upskill their catering staff was "not flippant".

"A lot of people commented on this to me," he added. "The quality of the Irish coffees at the airport is not what it used to be.

"The Joe Sheridan Bar is for passengers only and often there would be US troops returning home or other people in transit having an Irish coffee.

"I have seen it myself. They should be ensured good quality."

A spokeswoman for Shannon Airport Authority confirmed they have been "made aware of Mr McMahon's concerns on the issue".

She added: "The matter has been addressed with the company offering the service at Shannon."

Irish Independent

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