Ireland's beautiful Shannon Region has many claims to fame, and being the birthplace of Irish coffee is one of them.

Chef Joe Sheridan is credited with inventing the Irish coffee in 1942, telling cold winter tourists landing at Shannon Airport that his mixture of hot coffee, Irish whiskey and sugar, stirred and topped with thick cream, was simply called Irish coffee. In fact, a plaque at the airport bar commemorates his invention.

But the local Clare County Council, which apparently takes its Irish coffee very seriously, thinks Sheridan's reputation is under threat from slipping standards at the airport.

Councilmen have written to the Shannon Airport Authority and asked it to ensure that the bar staff are the cream of the crop when it comes to making a proper Irish coffee.

Local Councilman Pat McMahon knows that it may seem like much ado about nothing, but stressed that the quality of Irish coffee is critical to tourism and the region's reputation.

"Basically there is a lot of new staff working there. Some of them come from across the world and would not be aware of the heritage or tradition of Irish coffees. It wasn't like this before and something should be done about it," McMahon told the Irish Independent.

"I think it is important that they keep the standard of Irish coffees at the airport as high as possible."

An airport spokesman said they were aware of the Council's concerns and were addressing them.