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Lough Derg and its 125km long shoreline is described as an "under-the-radar tourist destination" with numerous pretty towns and villages

Burren and Lough Derg contend for best place to holiday title

Champion Chatter

FINALISTS will be unveiled on Friday July 22 in a national competition, in which The Burren and Lough Derg are in the running, for the title of Best Place to Holiday in Ireland.

The two Clare locations – both of which enjoy international renown for their natural beauty and tourist attractions – were unveiled, earlier this month, on The Irish Times list of ‘20 Best Places to Holiday in Ireland 2022’.

The locations were nominated by close to 1,200 people from across the 32 counties.

The Burren which was one of seven regions to be selected, received six nominations, while Lough Derg, received three.

Clare will, of course, have to share Lough Derg’s success with counties Galway and Tipperary, both of which border the lake.

The competition is being run in association with Fáilte Ireland, and last took place in 2012. On that occasion, Loop Head Peninsula emerged as the eventual winner.

This year, each of the nominated locations was considered by a panel of judges on a range of criteria including natural amenities, built environment, sustainability, tourism services, diversity, a welcome for visitors, transport links, accommodation supply, cost and a certain X factor.

The panel of five judges – which includes Nadia El Ferdaoussi, travel blogger; Trevor White, director of the Little Museum of Dublin; Councillor Cillian Murphy from Loop Head; and Rosita Boland, Irish Times journalist – spent hours reading and debating the entries, before selecting the ‘Best 20’.

In the words of the judges The Burren is ‘the real Ireland’, an uncommercialised and unspoilt natural wonder with other brilliant attractions like The Cliffs of Moher and the Ailwee Cave located nearby.

For its part Lough Derg and its 125km long shoreline is described as an “under-the-radar tourist destination” with numerous pretty towns and villages dotted around a beautiful and easily accessible natural resource.

The chair of the judging panel, Conor Goodman from The Irish Times said the entries from people all over the island showcased the excellent quality and variety of holiday locations available here.

“While the competition is a celebration of the many great holiday destinations this country has to offer, it also has a serious mission,” he said.

“As well as highlighting areas of natural beauty, we want to see which locations offer the best overall visitor experience, have a wide range of amenities and where care for the environment is a priority.

“Cost and value are also key considerations in a summer of rising prices and accommodation shortages across Ireland.

“In The Burren, Lough Derg and the other locations named in the ‘Best 20’ – our judges found these elements are very much to the fore as is the desire to create a warm welcome for people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Fiona McGarry
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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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