OPW site wins prestigious “EDEN Award” for sustainable tourism
The Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin “Boxer” Moran T.D. today congratulated all those involved in winning the EDEN Award for Scattery Island, the OPW-run Heritage site located in the Shannon Estuary near Kilrush, Co. Clare.
“I am really delighted with this win” the Minister said, “particularly because it involves a partnership between public organisations and the local community working together and is a great example of what can be achieved through co-operation and collaboration”.
The EDEN Award (European Destinations of ExcelleNce) is an initiative of the European Commission designed to promote sustainable tourism development across Europe. The project is based on national competitions* which take place every two years and results in the selection of a “Destination of Excellence” for each participating country. The winners are those emerging, lesser-known destinations located in all of the 27 EU Member States, and a single winning destination per country is selected on the basis of a set of award criteria established at both European and national level. A different theme is featured each year and this year’s theme of excellence, which was won by the County Clare site is Tangible Cultural Tourism**.
Mr. Paddy Mathews, Head of Innovation for Fáilte Ireland who accompanied Tourism Minister Mr. Brenden Griffin T.D. at the award presentation in Clare today said; “This year’s theme focused on small, emerging, non-traditional destinations located off the beaten track that offered an authentic tourism experience. This is something Ireland has in abundance. During the adjudication, Scattery Island demonstrated a strong commitment to balancing the preservation of archaeology, environment and cultural heritage along with pursuing opportunities for exploration and enjoyment by visitors.”
Minister Moran said, “OPW have received great co-operation and support from both Clare County Council and the Scattery Island Heritage and Development Group over a number of years and I am delighted to congratulate them all on this joint achievement. The way is clear now for Scattery Island*** to become much more widely recognised as a tourism destination which is on a par with some of the best known attractions in the country like Glendalough in Wicklow or Dun Aonghusa on Aran. This can only be positive for Kilrush and the surrounding area and I am sure that, in time, there will be a great return to local businesses and employment from tourism while at the same time making sure that we continue to preserve and protect the rich heritage of the Island. I am also happy to say that the OPW will continue to support Scattery and similar OPW heritage sites to ensure that they achieve the recognition they deserve.”