Hospitality Ulster appoints new chair and vice-chair

L-R: Tony O’Neill, Colin Neill, and Danny Coyles. Picture by Kelvin Boyes

PORTSTEWART publican Danny Coyles is the new chair of Hospitality Ulster.

The owner of the Anchor Bar complex was appointed at the drinks body's annual general meeting yesterday, replacing outgoing chair, Mark Stewart.

Tony O'Neill from the well-known Belfast restaurants Coppi and Buba was named the new vice chair.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Coyles described an exciting but challenging period for the industry, identifying licensing legislation, rates, VAT and Brexit as the biggest issues.

“Put simply, we have huge economic potential, but we need to see less consultation and more action by government if we are to sustain and grow our industry and the Northern Ireland economy.”

Tony O'Neill, said: “I look forward to building on the great work already done to support our fantastic pubs, bars and restaurants. As many in the industry will already know, I have a particular interest in the training and development of staff, and I hope that through this role I can contribute to making our industry a career of choice.”

Chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, Colin Neill, described the pair as highly respected leaders in the sector.

“They have an in-depth understanding of the day to day challenges faced by the industry and a clear ambition to find solutions to the barriers to growth.”

Mr Neill also paid tribute to the outgoing chair.

“I'd also like to thank Mark Stewart for his hard work in his role as Chair. The position requires many late nights, early mornings and miles on the road, and he has done so with great ease. I speak on behalf of all the members and staff when I say that he will be missed, but I know that he will remain deeply involved going forward.”

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