Irish Times competition win a ‘massive boost’ for Loop Head

Clare peninsula has been named as the “Best Place to Holiday in Ireland”

The naming of the Loop Head peninsula as the “Best Place to Holiday in Ireland” will provide “a massive boost” to the area.

That is the view of Kilbaha-based businessman Bernie Keating, who confirmed yesterday that his business, Keatings Bar and Restaurant, will be taking on additional staff as a result of the area winning The Irish Times competition.

Mr Keating, the owner of the Irish pub closest to New York city “as the crow flies”, said yesterday: “We’re absolutely delighted with the award. It is a massive boost for the area. It has put us on the map because we were left behind for a while.”

However, Mr Keating said locals are determined that the landscape on the peninsula "will be left as it is. We have seen ruined landscapes elsewhere in Ireland and we want to keep the landscape in the peninsula as natural as it can be. What we want is low-impact tourism."


Chairwoman of the Clare Tourism Forum Donnagh Gregson said "the naming of Loop Head as Ireland's premier holiday destination ahead of many established locations throughout the country should inspire other communities in Clare to explore how they can further enhance their own tourism product offering".

Chairman of Loop Head Tourism Cillian Murphy said: "Loop Head excelled in this competition not only because it possesses a rich variety of visitor attractions and activities and some of Ireland's most unique scenery, but also because it matched the competition criteria that were very much focused on community, sustainability and the quality of the tourism product on offer."

He said: "This reflects a shift within the tourism sector to visitors looking for a genuine and organic holiday experience, which is something that Loop Head offers in abundance.

“We are immensely proud of the sustainable tourism product that has been developed on the Loop Head peninsula.”

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times