The Diary raises a glass this week to Sean O’Neill, PR director of
Guinness Brewing Worldwide. O’Neill, who, before joining Guinness last
summer, was Burson-Marsteller’s director of marketing and corporate
communication in Melbourne, has suffered for almost a year with
sarcoidosis, a very rare disease linked to the immune system.
This would floor most of us but, if that wasn’t enough, O’Neill was
warned off alcohol - a potential problem for anyone in PR, but
particularly someone who fronts one of the world’s best-known
’Everyone here has been very good about it,’ he says. ’At any event, no
one ever batted an eyelid when I didn’t drinking Guinness in the
Thankfully, O’Neill, who - as the name suggests and his job surely
demands - has Irish ancestry and is a past player with the London Irish
RFC, is now recovering and so able to practise what he preaches.
’My first pint of Guinness tasted like the nectar of the gods,’ he
recalls, his eyes misting over, ’I’ve been feeling a lot better since -
I don’t know if it’s connected.’