Sligo Man Elected as President of the RAI

For Immediate Release

Wednesday 25th March 2015


Sligo Man Elected as President of the RAI


Anthony Gray of Eala Bhán, Rockwood Parade and Trá Bán, Strandhill elected new President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.


Sligo native Anthony Gray was elected President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the representative body for restaurants, gastro-pubs and cafés in Ireland at their AGM and Conference on 24th March.


Speaking on his election, owner of Eala Bhán and Trá Bán restaurants in Sligo, Anthony said that it’s important that restaurateurs all over Ireland get involved in their local branch of the RAI as they are much stronger as an association when they are united.


“It’s important that restaurateurs fight to protect our industry– restaurants represent 1 in 4 jobs in the hospitality industry and it is vital that we lobby to keep the VAT at 9% and fight any further increases to local authority rates. We, as restaurateurs, just won’t survive otherwise.”


Anthony made a moving speech at the Presidents Dinner that evening.  He empathised with members and reassured them that they were not alone, ‘’We are brave and as a result of brave, wages get paid, families reared and main streets bustle.’’  He commented as Gaeilge, ‘’Is é do cogadh mo chogagh,’’ which means your fight is my fight.


Anthony Gray is a Sligo native, where he lives with his wife Eilish and three children. His father Joe Gray ran a very successful butcher business in the heart of Sligo town for many years, curing his own hams and making his own sausages etc.  While working in this background and an appreciation for food came to providence, Anthony believes in sourcing produce from the land and sea around Sligo and that drives Anthony’s passion and dedication to using local and seasonal ingredients.   Anthony had always viewed Sligo as a foodie town that was crying out for its local produce to be championed.  He opened two multi-award winning restaurants in quick succession; Tra Ban opened in 2009 in Strandhill and Eala Bhan opened in Sligo Town in 2011.


He is aware of the challenges of running a restaurant business in today’s environment and looks forward to engaging with RAI members on how to overcome obstacles that they may face.


He succeeds Pádraic Óg of Gallagher Boxty House, Temple Bar, Dublin as the 18th President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.




Please find images from the event here

Notes to the Editor


Anthony Gray can be contacted on 0879028845 or by email


outgoing President Padraic Og Gallagher and new President Anthony Gray

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