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Diageo, the legendary company behind Guinness, has officially cancelled its sponsorship of London Irish Rugby Club over their choice to sign former Ulster and Ireland out-half Paddy Jackson.

We all remember the rugby star after the infamous and harrowing Belfast rape trial of last year, where he was acquitted. Three other men who had been charged in relation to the incident were also acquitted.

Stuart Olding and Jackson both had their contacts cancelled in the wake of the trial, after their Whatsapp messages showed vile, misogynistic language about women involved in allegedly consensual sex acts with them.

Seeing as London Irish markets themselves as a family club, we're not surprised fans were angry when a man who discusses 'spit roasts' and says phrases like, "Any sluts get f*cked?" was signed on to play for them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Catherine Wharton  (@catherine.wharton) on

In a statement to The Irish Times, Diageo said: “We have met with the club to express our concerns. Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship.”

Diageo had recently said that it had "serious concerns" regarding Jackson's signing, but failed to reference the sponsorship deal, which has been in place for 27 years.

Another London Irish sponsor, Cash Converters, terminated its relationship with the club. On Twitter, the company said; “As a company, we are committed to the highest possible standards when it comes to our investments in any sponsorships and collaborations.

"As a result of a detailed and thorough review of our support for London Irish, we have decided to discontinue our association with the club.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Last night, London Irish said its management is “understandably disappointed that Diageo has chosen not to renew its sponsorship agreement with the club, and particularly the manner in which the company has chosen to do so”.

“The club has always respected the right for everyone to have an opinion, and their right to express that opinion,” the statement said.

“London Irish has been open and honest with all of its sponsors, including offering to meet Diageo’s senior management in Dublin in May, 2019. This offer was not taken up.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The management also said the club would move on “without the support of Diageo, who have chosen to stand down after a nearly 30-year association with the club”.

“It is regretful that this relationship has ended in the manner that it has,” the statement said. Declan Kidney, head coach at London Irish and former Ireland coach, signed Paddy Jackson and defended the decision last year;

“We are fully aware that there was a court case that Paddy was involved in but that has  been  dealt  with. What  has gone on in the past had gone on in the past and we are just trying to move on to the future."

Feature image: Instagram/@glenmoremanor

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Whether you're going to celebrate Valentine's day or Galentine's day, why not get the night started with a few fancy cocktails?

Created by world-class bartenders for Diageo Reserve, we have some exclusive recipes to impress your bae on February 14.

They're super simple and amazingly tasty, so if making these drinks is all you do on V-Day, we'll take that as a day well spent:

 

Ciroc Pink Diamond 

Ingredients

• 35ml Cîroc vodka

• 45ml cranberry juice

• 35ml champagne

• 10ml fresh lime juice (around half a lime)

• 1 lemon for the twist

 

Method

1. Add Cîroc vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and ice to a shaker and shake for 8-10 seconds.

2. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or sieve into a chilled champagne flute.

3. Top with the champagne.

4. Garnish with an orange twist. To do this, use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove a 1cm-wide strip of peel from the orange (try to get as little pith as possible), twist in opposite directions over the glass to release the oils.

 

 

Tanqueray Rose  

Ingredients

•    35ml Tanqueray No. Ten gin

•    5ml raspberry liqueur

•    10ml fresh lemon juice 

•    5ml light Agave nectar

•    2 fresh raspberries

•    Soda Water

 

Method

1. Gently muddle the lemon juice, agave nectar & raspberries in the bottom of your glass.

2. Add Tanqueray No. Ten & raspberry liqueur.

3. Stir ingredients with ice.

4. Top with soda/sparkling water.

5. Garnish with an orange wheel and any red berry.

 

 

Ketel One Valentines Blush

Ingredients

•    35ml Ketel One vodka

•    10ml elderflower liqueur

•    20ml cranberry juice

•    10ml fresh lemon juice 

•    10ml light Agave nectar

•    Mint leaves

•    Frozen cranberries

•    Soda water

 

Method

1. Gently muddle the lemon juice, agave nectar & mint leaves in the bottom of your glass.

2. Add Ketel One vodka & elderflower liqueur.

3. ¾ fill a glass with crushed ice.

4. Add frozen cranberries.

5. Stir ingredients.

6. Pack with crushed ice.

7. Top with soda/sparkling water.

8. Garnish with sprig of fresh mint & frozen cranberry.

 

 

Don Julio Romance

Ingredients

•    35ml Don Julio Blanco

•    15ml orange liqueur

•    40ml fresh orange juice

•    40ml hibiscus tea

•    5ml hibiscus syrup

•    Fresh ginger pieces

 

Method

1.    Make hibiscus syrup by dissolving ½ cup of cane sugar into ½ cup hot hibiscus tea. Leave to cool.

2.    Muddle some fresh ginger pieces into bottom of a mixing glass.

3.    Add all of the remaining ingredients and half fill the mixing glass with ice.

4.    Stir the ingredients until the mixing glass chills to a frost.

5.    Strain into a Champagne coupe glass.

6. Garnish with some ginger strips wrapped in orange zest.

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