Donegal Connect 2019 won the All Ireland Community and Council Awards for the ‘Best Tourism
Initiative’ at the awards ceremony which took place last Saturday night in Croke Park.
The awards recognise and celebrate community and councils working together and provide an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work being done within local communities.
Over 200 entries were received this year and Donegal Connect was among 24 deserving projects
announced winners on the night.
The award ceremony is not in its fourteenth year.
Donegal Connect 2019 was a collaborative project between the private and public sector in Donegal
aimed at creating new opportunities for the county.
Speaking at the awards, held in Croke Park on Saturday evening, Director of Economic Development with Donegal County Council, Garry Martin, said: “We’re delighted to win the ‘Best Tourism Initiative’ for Donegal Connect. The programme rolled out over 70 events highlighting the county’s strengths in tourism, business, arts, culture, food and drink, as well as shining a light on our rich cultural heritage and Irish language and the economic opportunities that exist within our county. One of the key strengths behind the success of Donegal Connect overall was that all the partners pulled together. The project could never have succeeded without the hard work of everyone involved and was a wonderful example of a successful public private sector partnership in action.”
Donegal Connect was the original brainchild of the Donegal Association in Dublin in 2017 which
developed into a collaborative project between the private and public sector in Donegal aimed at
creating new opportunities for the county. The project’s management committee, chaired by Garry
Martin included Deirdre Mc Glone, formerly of Harvey’s Point Hotel, Niamh Walsh - a returned
Donegal Diaspora now back living in Carrigart, and representatives from Údarás na Gaeltachta, the
IDA, LYIT, Donegal County Council, Randox and Pramerica in addition.
The head of Enterprise Donegal, Michael Tunney, added: “We’re delighted to accept this award and
we’re honoured to be recognised for the great work that’s been done through collaboration
between the public and private sector. Through this project we engaged with our diaspora, both
overseas and within Ireland, to entice them to make the journey to Donegal to explore the county
and to find out why it is a wonderful place to visit, to invest in, to live in and be educated in. Last
year’s Donegal Connect ten-day programme saw a host of people visit Donegal for a wide range of
events and experience the very best that our wonderful county has to offer.”
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