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Coolea Vintage takes British cheese award

Coolea Farmhouse Cheese, in the Muscraí Gaeltacht in West Cork, won two top prizes in the British Cheese Awards last weekend.

Coolea Vintage won the Best Modern British Cheese Award as well as the Eugene Byrnes Trophy for the Best Irish Cheese sponsored by Bord Bia at Cardiff Castle on Friday evening last.

Coolea cheese is made on the farm of Dick Willems at Cuil Aodha in the heart of the Muscraí Gaeltacht and their cheese was chosen from 134 cheeses in the Modern category. Some 903 cheeses were entered in this year's awards.

Coolea won the only two top awards won by an Irish cheese this year.

"This is a big thing. It's a fantastic success. There were over 900 cheeses there from the British Isles," Mr Willems said.

"It is important for Ireland, for exports for Irish farmhouse cheese products, and it shows how good the products are and that they are recognised. It is very important, especially in a time of recession, that our products are coming over here and that you can export," he added.

The awards were presented at a dinner party for 200 people at the national museum, Cardiff.

Irish Independent