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Clonakilty has been named as the best town in the UK and Ireland

“It’s huge for a town the size of Clonakilty,” says local councillor, Christopher O’Sullivan.

Image: Flickr/gluecksaktivist

IT’S CELEBRATION TIME in Co Cork, as Clonakilty won the title of best town in the UK and Ireland at a ceremony held last night in London.

The town in west Cork, with a population of around 5,000, beat Blackpool in North West England and Todmorden in West Yorkshire to the coveted “Great Town” prize at the 2017 Urbanism Awards.

The quality of the design and maintenance of the public areas of Clonakilty was singled out for praise by the judging panel, as was its volunteered and sponsored Clonbike scheme, a community initiative which follows the model of larger bike schemes, such as Dublin’s.

Speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show, local Fianna Fáil councillor Christopher O’Sullivan called the win “huge” and said “it’s a massive title that we can now put out to the world.”

Awarded by the Academy of Urbanism, an independent collection of European planners, architects and engineers, Clonakilty won via popular vote and through a visit from judges for the competition.

“We put together a fantastic itinerary for the lead assessors,” O’Sullivan said.

When announcing their win, the judges noted:

The quality of the town centre and the town’s location close to the sea and beautiful beaches make it an attractive place to live, do business and visit.

The judges also praised the town’s “local distinctiveness, tradition, entrepreneurialism and a strong sense of local pride.”

Another Irish winner on the night was Waterford’s regenerated Viking Triangle, which won the Great Place award, with the assessors noting that the area was boosted by a “strong historical narrative and harnessing the best of their assets.”

O’Sullivan added that the win has the potential to boost tourism in the area and has called the win “a huge acknowledgement of the fantastic town that Clonakilty has become.”

Read: This is Ireland’s tidiest town

Read: These are the ‘best kept’ towns in Ireland

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Sean Murray

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