Donegal Town has been awarded the title of Top Foodie Town in Ireland.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony in Kilkenny's Mount Juliet Hotel last week.
This was a remarkable achievement for the team of volunteers who have done incredible work to put Donegal Town on the foodie destination map.
Mary McGettigan told the Donegal Post: “We were just blown away. We're thrilled. This award is really special to us. It is what we have been doing for the last 11 years, trying to establish Donegal Town as a foodie destination. So to win Top Foodie Town in Ireland was the icing on the cake.”
Mrs McGettigan believes the collaboration within the town and with Donegal Food Coast plays a big part in Donegal Town's success.
“We work really well together,” she said. “We all want what is best for the town.”
During the judges' visit, they were shown a presentation in Donegal Town Credit Union.
“It showed our event calendar from Christmas to the food festival,” said Mrs McGettigan. “When you see it all there together, there is a lot going on.”
The judges were also taken on a tour of food businesses in the town.
“They could see that we have everything here, a great choice from breakfast to dinner,” said Mrs McGettigan.
“The restaurants all played a big part in this too. They keep their premises to a very high standard.
“This award is something they can use now in their advertising. It is a great boost for all of them.
“It is there now and nobody can take it away.”
The Foodie Town Award is given to towns or villages where Tourism is the main aspect of the local culture and economy.
Judges scores were combined with a public vote to decide the overall winner.
The judges said there was a great variety of dining experiences in Donegal Town, in addition to the hospitality and knowledge of the locals. They also thought it was a clever idea to use the platform of the Wild Atlantic Way to help Donegal Town stand out as a place to visit.
Run by the Restaurants Association of Ireland, Foodie Destinations was set up to celebrate Ireland's unique and wonderful food experiences. It is also a way to encourage and reward local food tourism initiatives across the country.
It was a great testament to those driving the food tourism industry in Donegal that two of the nine finalists were from the county. Food Coast Donegal finished third overall behind second-placed Taste Causeway and overall Foodie Destination 2019 winners Waterford.
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