Carlingford & the Cooley Peninsula awarded European Destination of Excellence


Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula have been awarded the title of European Destinations of Excellence – Tourism & Intangible Heritage 2008, in a competition funded and organised by Fáilte Ireland with support from the European Union.

The competition received entries from areas that have implemented marketing initiatives to preserve local, natural and cultural heritage - while also ensuring the area’s social, cultural and environmental sustainability. Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula faced top competition from the other four finalists – Youghal Co. Cork, Ballyhoura Co. Limerick and Listowel and Milltown in Co. Kerry.

"With the area’s natural resources, a full calendar of events and a strong multidisciplinary tourism association, Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula were worthy winners of this year’s competition” - said Sheena Doyle, Marketing Co-ordinator at Fáilte Ireland.

The area hosts a range of events throughout the year, focusing on their intangible heritage from the ‘Birds on the Bay’ and a ‘Traditional Irish Winter School’ in February, to the Táin Walking Festival in March and the Oyster Festival in September. In addition, following in the steps of Setanta and reflecting its Celtic heritage, the Poc Fada is hosted annually on the mountains and attracts national competitors.

"This award is recognition of the commitment and hard work undertaken by the local community over many years in promoting the area and welcoming visitors. It represents a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Carlingford/Cooley Peninsula area to a wider overseas audience” - said Kevin Kidney, General Manager Fáilte Ireland East & Midlands.

The aim of the European Destinations of Excellence Competition is to highlight the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European tourist destinations and to promote destinations where the economic growth objective is pursued in such a way as to ensure the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism.

The adjudicators were very impressed with the variety of products and the high standards and commitment of the local groups. Each group recognised their destination's needs and demonstrated awareness for ongoing improvement of their tourism experience.