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Remove ‘war sponsor’ drinks from Leinster House – McGahon

19th November 2023 - Senator John McGahon

Fine Gael Senator John McGahon has demanded that products made by Bacardi, Mondelez, and Pepsi are immediately removed from sale on the Leinster House campus.


All three companies have been officially placed on the ‘International Sponsors of War’ list by the Ukrainian government for contributing to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.


“These gigantic companies continue to operate in Russia, despite pledges in some cases to withdraw or considerably reduce their operations, and their taxes fund Putin’s war machine,” said Senator McGahon.


“The real irony is the duplicity of some of the companies, Teeling Whiskey for example, released 300 bottles of “United We Stand” in support of Ukraine. The proceeds went to charities supporting Ukrainian families, in particular children.


“Meanwhile, Barcardi is the majority shareholder of Teeling, owning 79% of cent of the company. Bacardi’s profits in Russia have risen by 200% since the Ukrainian invasion.


“Alongside the 200% increase for Bacardi, data from the Russian Federal Tax service show that PepsiCo profit rose 333%, Mondelez was 300%.  Some of these companies benefitted substantially after competitors pulled out of Russia in protest.


“It is indefensible for us as parliaments to declare solidarity with Ukraine and fly their flag on and outside our public buildings while continuing to allow companies that are supporting the brutal Russian war machine to peddle their products inside the seat of our democracy.


“Ukraine has officially declared these companies to be sponsors of war and has asked us to boycott them. Yet, in our parliament, we can walk straight past a Ukrainian flag in many cases and buy products from companies that are financially supporting Russia in this war.


“According to the Moral Rating Agency in the UK, Bacardi not only deleted a vow, made on its website, at the start of the war to stop trading in Russia but its Irish whiskey brand, Teeling actually produced a Ukrainian solidarity bottle in the country’s colours,” added Senator McGahon.


“This is particularly cynical and disappointing. Their products should be removed from sale in our parliament until they are removed from the International Sponsors of War list. Last month we saw the Finnish parliament take a similar action and we should follow suit,” concluded Senator McGahon.

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