Achill Island and Louisburgh have made it on to the longlist in The Irish Times’ competition The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland. It will join 23 other holiday hotspots in the race to be named as Ireland’s best place to holiday. The other finalists include Dingle, Inis Meain and The Shannon River. Every county in the country was represented in the competition, with over 1,400 entries submitted in total by members of the public. The winning place will be announced in The Irish Times on Monday, May 27. To view the longlist and to read the full submission for Achill Island and Louisburgh, visit www.irishtimes.com/bestplace The entry for Achill Island was submitted by Elizabeth Hickey, who wrote: “At the end of my first Irish summer holiday in 15 years I was surprised that the days had been filled with activities. In Ireland you have to make your own fun … Achill offers the opportunity to do this no matter what the weather.”
The entry for Louisburgh was submitted by Catherine Duffy, who wrote: “Louisburgh, nestled under Croagh Patrick, is where Westport people go on holidays. For the painter, the pilgrim, the photographer, the forager, the fisherman, the foodie, the walker, the geologist, the historian and the child there is no better place.”
The competition is being judged by a panel of four national experts from different walks of life comprising Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green party, tourism entrepreneur and former minister; Margaret Jeffares, founder of the Good Food Ireland initiative and tourism entrepreneur; Rosita Boland, Irish Times journalist and author of A Secret Map of Ireland and Steve McPhilemy, Derry-based hostel owner and tour guide with Paddywagon Tours.
Speaking about the longlist, Conor Goodman, features editor, The Irish Times and chairperson of the judging panel, said: “This contest has revealed some very interesting places around Ireland and, with so many entries from every part of the country, has been very competitive. Now, with only 25 areas left in the running, the judges have a tough job ahead of them. Our researchers are now visiting these places, to rate them on the many aspects that make them great places to holiday - from their beauty, to their hospitality and services, entertainment, transport links and local attractions. We are looking forward to revealing the shortlist on Monday 20 May.”
Judge Steve McPhilemy said he had been cheered by the quality of entries for some of the less-celebrated midlands destinations, such as the Glen of Aherlow in Co Tipperary, “but the old stalwart locations like Kinsale and Dingle showed they still have it too”.
The winning holiday destination will be named The Best Place to Holiday in Ireland on Monday, May 27 in The Irish Times. The winning destination will then be featured in full in the newspaper on Saturday June 1, with photos and interviews with the people and businesses that make the place an ideal destination for a short break or a ‘staycation’. In addition, The Irish Times will host a celebration party in the winning holiday spot.
The Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland competition is supported by DiscoverIreland.ie