Clonakilty named best town in all of Ireland and the UK
Clonakilty in Co Cork has been named as the best town in the whole of Ireland and the United Kingdom.
It had to beat off stiff competition from Blackpool and Todmorden in England to win the title, which was bestowed by the town planning organisation, the Academy of Urbanism.
The judges included architects, planners and developers who took into account a whole range of factors including the environment as well as good governance and commercial success.
Clonakilty dates back to pre-Celtic times and later became home to the Normans, who built several castles in the area that still survive today. It has a population of only 4,700 but is a popular tourist attraction and is noted for both its traditional culture and its nightlife.
In presenting the award, the judges of the Great Town Award said: “The quality of the town centre and the town’s location close to the sea and beautiful beaches make it an attractive place to live, do business and visit.
“Clonakilty is a good example of those three elements coming together in a sustainable way that celebrates local distinctiveness, tradition, entrepreneurialism and a strong sense of local pride.”
Steven Bee, chair of the Academy said: “Clonakilty has a distinctive physical character derived from its setting and its Georgian and Victorian heritage. This was disturbed by traffic management in the mid-twentieth century, but is now being recovered, with significant social and economic benefits.
“The role of the town architect and town mayor in encouraging participation in the planning, and implementation of improvements have been key. Refreshed open spaces and improved links have restored the town’s character and pride, and stimulated tourism.”
The Viking Triangle in Waterford won the Great Place Award in the same competition, making it a double first for Ireland.
Do you qualify to become an Irish citizen?There are three main ways for a person to qualify for Irish citizenship – through birth, through marriage or civil partnership or through naturalisation. Check if you qualify for Irish citizenship
Did you know?Irish attractions: Dare you take the nerve-wracking Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Challenge. Don’t look down. It’s not for the fainthearted. Find out more.
Have you heard about…Which Irish county has the sexiest accent? Irish people have their say. Find out more.
What about this…Irish nationalist Michael Collins has been called the “greatest Irishman that ever lived” after masterminding military operations in the Irish War of Independence and helping negotiate the treaty with the British that brought the Irish Free State into being. Find out more.