Diageo Ireland: The Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative

Business in the Community Ireland

Company Description:
Diageo is one of Ireland’s leading drinks businesses with an outstanding collection of beer, wine and spirits brands. The company employs more than 2,200 people at facilities in Dublin, Belfast, Dundalk, Kilkenny, Cork, Sligo, Limerick and Waterford and contributes significantly to approximately 15,000 other jobs and invests in excess of €500 million annually on wages, materials and services. Today, Diageo’s operations in Ireland are collectively a €1.7billion business bringing the iconic Irish brands, Guinness and Baileys to consumers in over 150 countries worldwide.

Business Issue:
Diageo Ireland, the parent company of Guinness, has a long history of involvement with the community of the Liberties where the St. James’s Gate Brewery is located. The Liberties is the location of the Digital Hub project which will see an international digital enterprise centre developed in the area. The Digital Hub has a strong educational and community remit to ensure that the local community of Liberties benefits from the project. Given its strong commitment to the Liberties, Diageo Ireland formed a partnership with The Digital Hub to ensure that the educational and community aspects of the project became a reality.

Solution Applied:

  • A consultation process with the local community discovered a real demand for education and learning programmes to ensure that the local community has the skills and opportunity to avail of the emerging digital centre on their doorstep.
  • A learning initiative to deliver this goal was devised and Diageo Ireland gave financial backing to what became the Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative (DLLI). Since 2001 Diageo Ireland has contributed nearly €3m to DLLI.
  • To-date, DLLI has delivered over 20 programmes involving more than 6,000 participants. A number of secondary school students from the Liberties, whose first experience of digital technology was provided through DLLI, are now studying at third-level institutions.

Company Benefits:

  • DLLI has confirmed the commitment of Diageo Ireland to the community in the Liberties, with whom there is a long history of co-operation.
  • DLLI demonstrates Diageo Ireland’s understanding and support for the emerging digital technology sector which will play a significant role in Ireland’s developing economy going forward.
  • Support for DLLI is an example of Diageo’s commitment to social inclusion and that the so-called ‘digital divide’ can be tackled through innovative, targeted programmes involving a range of stakeholders.

Stakeholder Benefits:

  • Over 6,000 participants have benefited from programmes delivered through DLLI.
  • DLLI has helped foster strong links between the local community and the Digital Hub project.
  • The local community, and school children in particular, are excited by digital technology and the prospects it offers for employment, enterprise and recreation. “The Diageo Liberties Learning Initiative is one of the most positive developments to take place in this community for many years. This most exciting project is making digital technology accessible to all the community. DLLI offer a real chance for local people to share the benefits of the Digital Hub.” Cllr. John Gallagher, sponsor of the FÁS Community Employment Scheme, St. Nicholas of Myra Community Centre, Dublin 8 and local member of Dublin City Council.

Departments Involved:
Corporate Relations

Solution Champion:
Beth Davies Ryan, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, beth.davies.ryan@diageo.com