Thursday 22 March 2018

Norman Way loses out to Clare in awards

Minister Brendan Griffin with finalists Noirin Cummins and Eamonn Hore, Norman Way Wexford and Paddy Mathews, Head of Investment Failte Ireland
Minister Brendan Griffin with finalists Noirin Cummins and Eamonn Hore, Norman Way Wexford and Paddy Mathews, Head of Investment Failte Ireland

Esther Hayden

The Norman Way has lost out in the Irish leg of the 2017 Eden (European Destination of Excellence) Award.

Last Tuesday Scattery Island in Co Clare was named as the Irish winner beating the Norman Way and Ceide Coast in Co Mayo.

The award recognises the destination in Ireland which has best used its local tangible cultural assets to grow visitor numbers.

This Eden competition, which Fáilte Ireland manages in Ireland, is staged every two years in each EU country along a specific shared theme, and is designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development.

Scattery Island, Ceide Coast and the Norman Way were the three Irish destinations shortlisted under this year's Tangible Cultural Destination theme.

On Tuesday at a ceremony in the Vandeleur Walled Garden in Kilrush, Co Clare Wexford County Council was presented with a certificate for making the final.

Speaking at the ceremony today, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD said: 'The standard of finalists this year was exceptionally high. During the onsite assessments, The Norman Way, as well as the other destinations, clearly demonstrated that tangible culture has taken a central role in their tourism offering while also sustaining their local environment.

'I am sure that this new accolade will go a long way to attracting even more visitors to the region, and indeed to Wexford and Ireland's Ancient East.'

Accepting the award for The Norman Way, Eamonn Hore, Director of Services, Wexford County Council, said: 'Given the quality of the 18 applications received by Fáilte Ireland in relation to the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) Awards 2017, Wexford County Council deems it to be a great honour to be nominated as one of the three finalists and is happy to receive such creditable acknowledgement for The Norman Way project.

'We believe that The Norman Way is a true treasure of Ireland's Ancient East with its trail of authentic medieval heritage sites running through the beautiful and scenic landscape of south County Wexford, right alongside the southern coast of the county in the landscape where the Normans first arrived in Ireland.'

Scattery Island was chosen as the winning destination following on-site assessments by a panel of adjudicators who were looking for a destination that could provide examples of good practice, opportunities to improve the visitors' cultural experience, a platform for the development of cultural tourism and an understanding of the challenges faced in the development of such tourism.

The Eden network provides winners with the opportunity to foster links with other Irish and European destinations of excellence.

Enniscorthy Guardian