People in Enniskillen spoke of their pride after it was named Ireland’s best preserved city.
At the awards ceremony at the Titanic Hotel in Belfast, Isburn was also named the best preserved major urban centre.
It was the first time in many years that a competition for the best preserved city on the island was organized. The competition was canceled in 2020 and last year due to the Covid pandemic.
In addition to Enniskillen and Lisburn, Inistioge in County Kilkenny was named the best preserved village and Abbeilakes in Koh Laua the best preserved small town.
Jonathan Gallagher, marketing director at Loch Erne Resort, near Enniskillen, said the town deserved the title.
He added: “[This award follows] Booking.com named Enniskillen the third most welcoming city in the UK for the third year in a row.
“This is a fantastic recognition that our beautiful country town has been voted Ireland’s best preserved city.
Fermanagh and Omagh Councilor Donal O’Coffey said: “This is obviously very good news and I think it reflects the hard work of municipal workers who are keeping the city healthy, as well as the commitment of residents and visitors to our city to make sure they dispose of their trash.” properly. Everything is very positive.”
DUP Council Member Keith Elliott added: “This award is a testament to the hardworking staff and efforts put in throughout the year to ensure the city looks its best.
“I am delighted that the city has received recognition in this national competition for its hard work.”
UUP council member Robert Irvine spoke about long-term efforts to maintain order in Enniskillen.
“We are just finalizing the public space scheme and trying to implement this with Covid has been traumatic,” he said.
“Working in partnership with merchants and the general public who use Enniskillen, we have been campaigning in the council over the past two years regarding litter in general.
“[We are] we’re trying to educate people, and we’re working with schools.
“To receive such a prestigious award voice is really brilliant. Well done to our staff, because we may get the glory of advisors, but they do all the hard work.”
UUP advisor Howard Thornton also expressed his gratitude to the staff working behind the scenes.
“I am glad to hear it. A lot of work is being done, and it pays off with recognition,” he said.
“The staff takes pride in maintaining order in the city. A lot of effort goes [into that]and our staff is to be commended.
“It is very important that Enniskillen as a tourist destination receive such recognition. We must all continue like this.”
Heather Humphreys, Minister for Rural and Community Development of Ireland, said the city was a worthy winner.
Ms Humphreys added: “I want to congratulate all the winners and nominees of the Best Kept Town on the island. In particular, I’d like to congratulate Enniskillen, Inistioge, Abbeyleix and Lisburn on winning awards in their respective categories.
“The All-Island Best Surviving City competition recognizes the great pride people have in their communities across the island.
“Established in 1995, this year we celebrate 25 years of cross-border cooperation, partnership and, most importantly, friendship.”
Although the event was canceled for two years due to the pandemic, Ms Humphreys said it hasn’t stopped the “tremendous efforts” being made by community groups across the island.
“Even during the lockdown, towns and villages have been supported and volunteers across the island have continued to make a huge effort to protect the places where they live,” she added.
Doreen Muskett, MBE, President of the Northern Ireland Improvement Council, which organizes the Best Kept Awards, said: “These awards illustrate and highlight how much voluntary work is being done to maintain the beauty of towns and villages across Ireland, and how the community is working together to make where they live preferably.
“These awards create a connection between community participation, our natural environment and our well-being, helping us recognize the value of our biodiversity and coming together to play our part in making our parts of the country the places we are proud to call home.”