Stuart who grew up in West Cork, has had a wide a varied career journey as Soldier, Sailor and Whiskey Maker.
He is a Masters graduate of NUI Maynooth where he studied Leadership and Management. He is also a graduate of the National Coach Training Centre in University of Limerick, the NATO School in Oberammergau Germany, the European Defence College, Brussels and the Law Society of Ireland.
As a Lieutenant and Captain, Stuart served on counter insurgency and peace support operations on the Northern Ireland Border and in the Middle East. Following promotion to Commandant (Major) he served in variety of challenging, leadership roles as both a unit commander and brigade staff officer in Ireland and with Swedish and German Battle Groups and as a Liaison and Monitoring Team Commander with NATO – KFOR in Kosovo.
As a Senior Officer, he served as Joint Operations Center Director in Dublin before subsequent postings to appointments at strategic level in Brussels (at EU Council Level), Somalia, Uganda and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before taking early retirement to move into the world of business in 2020, Stuart served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Irish Defence Forces, where he commanded DFHQ CIS Coy, the specialist military unit responsible for delivery of enterprise telecommunications, data base administration, software / applications development and cyber-defence for the Irish Defence Forces, at home and in overseas theaters of operations.
In his sporting life, he served for 8 years as Honorary National Trainer of the Irish Sailing Association developing and implementing national powerboat and motorboat training schemes for Ireland. He skippered Shannon Sprint and Round Ireland Powerboat record attempts and is an experienced International Dragon (Ex – Olympic Class) racer and Trans-Atlantic and Caribbean Sailor.
As a Social Entrepreneur, Stuart has won several national and international awards for innovation in Social Media, Digital Marketing and Social Entrepreneurship including the design and implementation of the Irish Lakelands Tourism brand.
Stuart edits several International Whisk(e)y and Whiskey Tourism sites including IrishWhiskey.com and WhiskeyBlogger.com. He is also the creator and editor of International Irish Whiskey Day which is celebrated on 3/3 or 3rd March each year and has a global social media reach of over 8 Million.
He is a Director of Portmagee Whiskey and has acted as a brand and product development consultant to several other Irish Whiskey and other spirits producers.