• Julie Dupouy – Young

    Julie Dupouy – Young has taken up the position of President of Irish Guild of Sommeliers

    Congratulations and good wishes Julie


    Julie Dupouy – Young President Irish Guild of Sommeliers

    I was born in the South West of France, in the city of Agen.

    I come from a background where cooking and sharing family meals together is an everyday occurrence.

    I think my passion for good food comes from my grandmother, on my father’s side. She was a primary school teacher and a very good cook. She would never, or very rarely cook the same recipe twice. She cooked instinctively, using her senses and experience. I have particularly fond memories of her kitchen wallpaper, it was graph paper in style and was covered in handwritten recipes with dishes that she liked.

    From a very young age I was also passionate about perfumes and one of the most memorable presents I ever received from my parents was a perfumer kit to create my own combination of aromas.

    The very first significant memory of wine is from my 16th birthday. My Granddad had opened a special bottle of wine from the year of my birth. I remember being very excited by the idea of it and I decided to start reading about wine to try to understand it better.

    A few months later, I told my parents that I wanted to become a sommelier…

    I have been in living in Ireland since 2004.  I have been lucky and worked in some great restaurants, including Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud 2** Michelin, The Greenhouse 1* Michelin and since 2018 I have joined the team at Chapter One Restaurant, 1*Michelin, as sommelier-consultant.

    Since 2014, I have been working free-lance in Ireland but also internationally consulting for restaurants, training people from the industry, hosting events and judging at international wine competitions.

    In 2017 I started working on the development of a new Cognac brand with the responsibility of creating the taste of the different limited editions. In Spring 2019, Exsto Cognac was born, the international launch took place in Singapore.

    In 2016, I finished 3rd at the ASI World Sommelier Championship representing Ireland and the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.

    My hope is to inspire others and to give them a little of the inspiration I was fortunate to have in my early life with a view to opening the window for people into the beautiful world of wine and sensory pleasure.

    Julie Dupouy – Young
    3rd Best Sommelier in the World 2016 (ASI)
    Best Sommelier in Ireland 2018 (IGS)
    WSET Diploma
    WSET Sake Level 3
  • Emmet Fitzgerald 1939 – 2020

    Emmet Fitzgerald 1939 – 2020

    L/R Emmet Fitzgerald 1939 – 2020, Frank Hendron 1922 – 2012, & Oliver Murtagh 1948 – 2020

    Emmet Fitzgerald was a member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers for many years and attended his last Guild meeting on 26th November, 2019. Later that day Oliver Murtagh, and Andrew O’ Gorman stayed with him until late into the evening at the Palace Bar  where he told many stories and recalled many memorable events from Guild trips to vineyards and Guild events at home.

    Emmet was known as a man who lived life to the full and his death on 3rd, March, 2020 saddened those who knew him personally and professionally.

    He could be extremely witty and had a particular sense of humour. He was opinionated, strong and wise. He always had a powerful impact at council meetings and his views were always respected. During his time in the Guild he held the position of Treasurer for many years and was a Director from the time the Guild became a company up to last year.

    Emmet, a native of Dublin, he had a career in the hotel industry and worked in the Burlington Hotel for many years until his retirement some years ago.

    “The Guild will miss his contributions to the Association. I will raise my glass to another gentleman and recall happy days I spent in his company” – one of the messages of sympathy received.

    A wide circle of family and friends including members of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers attended his funeral in Jennings Funeral Home Oscar Traynor Rd, Coolock, Dublin on Friday,6th March from 4 pm to 6 pm. and on Saturday morning 7th March at The Church of St. Vincent de Paul, Griffith Avenue, Marino, Dublin for 10 am Funeral Mass, with burial afterwards in Fingal Cemetery

    Deepest sympathy to his sister Geraldine, brother Garrett, nephew Fergus, nieces Mary, Anne, his extended family Katorina, Molly, Thomas, Richie and his many friends.

    Emmet will be able to join Oliver and Frank for a glass of wine with the angels in Heaven.

    “Ar dhéis Dé go raibh a anam dílis”. (A. O’ Gorman)


    Dear members,
    It is with regret that I inform you of the death of Emmet Fitzgerald.
    The following are the funeral arrangements of Irish Guild of Sommeliers  council member , former Director & Treasurer Emmet Fitzgerald.
    May He Rest In Peace.
    Kind regards,
    Andrew O’ Gorman,
    Irish Guild of Sommeliers.


    The death has occurred of Emmet FITZGERALD
    Clontarf, Dublin

    FITZGERALD, Emmet (Clontarf, Dublin and former member of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers), passed away 3rd March 2020 (peacefully) in the wonderful care of the staff of St. Francis Hospice surrounded by his loving family; very sadly missed by his sister Geraldine, brother Garrett, nephew Fergus, nieces Mary, Anne, his extended family Katorina, Molly, Thomas, Richie and his many friends.

    May He Rest In Peace

    Reposing in Jennings Funeral Home Oscar Traynor Rd, Coolock, on Friday (6th March) from 4 pm to 6 pm. Removal this Saturday morning (7th March) to The Church of St. Vincent de Paul, Griffith Avenue, arriving at 9.50 am for 10 am Funeral Mass. Burial afterwards in Fingal Cemetery. Family flowers only please, donations, if so desired, to St. Francis Hospice, Raheny.

  • Tribute to Oliver Murtagh, President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers

    Tribute to Oliver Murtagh, President of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers

    The Irish Guild of Sommeliers has confirmed the unexpected passing of its President Oliver J. Murtagh on February 3, 2020. Murtagh was a beloved figure on both the national and international stage. Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary Irish Guild of Sommeliers, offered this eulogy: “ was totally dedicated to the hospitality industry… He was a tireless worker and organiser in the …

    Oliver J. Murtagh, President, Irish Guild of Sommeliers, Remembered

    Oliver J. Murtagh, who has died, was a sommelier, earning a reputation for discretion, charm and exceptional kindness during his years of service to the profession.

    Oliver always dressed in black tie and appeared to know everyone’s name and what they drank. The latter skill seemed like genius to those whom he had just met, but in fact it was an art he had perfected, involving a selection of wines and other beverages.

    In a legendarily hospitable setting, Oliver was often the key to success, welcoming guests and making them feel part of an inner circle, directing a small army of waitresses and waiters, and dealing with unforeseen hiccups.

    Oliver was unflappable and disasters were not allowed to happen. He presided over many functions with over 1,200 guests seated for lunch or dinner, all of which he seemed to enjoy as much, if not more so, than the hosts.

    He looked after the welfare of his customers in all sorts of subtle ways, ensuring that they did not drink too much. He would make a great show of pouring that one last glass of wine to a guest, but in fact only give them a thimbleful.

    His memoirs, had he written them, would have created a stir, but that would not have been his style. Instead, he was mindful of his customers’ reputations and would not tolerate back-biting at his hotel.

    Born in Collinstown, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, he was one of three children of Nicholas and Mary Murtagh. Oliver was destined for the hospitality industry from a young age. St Marys Hotel School Athenry Co. Galway was established in the late 1950s by the Galway Vocational Education Committee to provide training for Hotel and Catering Personnel in the growing Tourism Market. The Vocational Education Committees throughout Ireland granted scholarships to successful applicants. This was for the duration of the entire course and was a residential scholarship.

    Oliver won a scholarship and commenced his studies in 1964. It was a very intense course and covered a diverse range of subjects including Irish, English, French, German, Business Studies, Food and Beverage Studies – Bar, Restaurant and Banqueting.

    During the course there was great emphasis on diligence, professionalism and commitment to the cross section of subjects taught both theory and practical. This remained with Oliver throughout his career and considerably influenced his success in the food and beverage industry.

    Oliver worked for over 40 years in the hotel and restaurant sector including at Kelly’s Resort Hotel, Rosslare, Co. Wexford, which to this day is a noted family hotel with a huge emphasis on French wines.

    Oliver gave most of his working life working as Head Waiter in Banqueting at the Burlington Hotel Dublin. Oliver’s larger than life personality matched that of some of his best customers, and he was considered ‘one of them’. He loved his work and always referred to the hotel as ‘my hotel’.

    Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary, Irish Guild of Sommeliers, in his eulogy to Oliver at his funeral Mass at the Church of St. Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus, Dublin had the following to say about Oliver: “I have known Oliver Murtagh for over 45 years and during that time we became very good friends. He was totally dedicated to the hospitality industry and this was evidenced by his long career in the Burlington Hotel Dublin and his involvement with the Irish Guild of Sommeliers.

    “He was a tireless worker and organiser in the promotion of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers and held the position of President on a number of occasions right up to his sudden death. Oliver had great pride in the Irish Guild of Sommeliers uniform and the chain of office which he wore with distinction. He was well known and highly regarded nationally and internationally.

    “I travelled with him to numerous Association Sommelerie International competitions and events worldwide including Brazil, Argentina, Croatia, France among many other counties, the last one being to Antwerp, Belgium, in March last year.

    “On those trips Oliver regaled members from many countries into the early hours of the morning with good conversation and telling stories with the customary glass of wine in hand. No matter what country he visited he was always interested in its cultural and historical aspects. He had a passion for visiting old cathedrals and churches and never left without saying a few prayers and lighting the customary candle.

    “The last cathedral I visited with him was the famous Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp which has a long history. The Stations of the Cross in this Cathedral are replicated in the church of the Marino Institute of Education Dublin.

    “Oliver was already planning for the next ASI International competition in Cyprus. He had been looking forward to judging the Bartenders Association of Ireland National Cocktail Championship which took place this week. The President of the Bartenders Association of Ireland Declan Byrne paid a fitting tribute to Oliver from the competition stage on Tuesday last (4th February).”

    The Bartenders Association of Ireland were saddened to learn of the passing of Oliver: “He was an absolute gentleman and played a vital role each year judging Ireland’s National Cocktail Championship. He was always willing to give freely of his time to assist young bartenders in their career development. He was an expert judge and successfully played a part in selecting National Cocktail Champions who went on to become International Award Winning Bartenders.

    “Oliver Murtagh was a consummate hospitality industry professional, an inspirer of Irish sommeliers, a masterful organiser and, above all, a gentleman.”

    For many years, he presided over the well-oiled machine that was the Burlington Hotel banquet hall, with an eagle eye for the minutest detail, while greeting and seating guests with style and panache.

    But he will be best remembered in Ireland and throughout the world as a champion of professional sommeliers. Known and admired by senior sommeliers, educators, wine professionals and in many countries, he had a unique ability to spot and nurture talent, mentoring a succession of Irish candidates for the ASI Best Sommelier of the World, and the Africa and Europe Sommelier contests together with his excellent committee. As a unique team, they managed Irish Guild of Sommeliers competitions which produced outstanding international candidates such as Didier Fiat and Julie Dupouy medal winners at the World Sommelier Contests in Brazil 1992 and Argentina 2016 respectively.

    Oliver devoted much of his life to the industry which he truly loved and will be fondly remembered by colleagues and those whom he helped in their careers.

    Oliver will be sadly missed by the entire membership of the Irish Guild of Sommeliers. He was its guiding light for a long number of years. He was known to the entire wine trade & had a great personal relationship with its representatives.

    Tributes were received from sommeliers all over the world and from his Irish colleagues in the Guild, wine industry among many others.

    He will be sadly missed by his sisters Annette and Patricia (Salesian Sisters), cousins, neighbours and many friend.

    Andrew O’ Gorman, Secretary, and Irish Guild of Sommeliers

    Oliver J. Murtagh died February 3rd, 2020