Mulranny – A Hidden Treasure
The European Destination of Excellence Award Ceremony and
European Tourism Day, 27th & 28th September 2011
The Great Western Greenway – Mulranny – Co. Mayo has been formally designated a European Destination of Excellence. The award recognises outstanding locally driven achievements, including the opening of the Great Western Greenway, the sensitive restoration of the stunning Mulranny Park Hotel, and the regeneration of Mulranny’s Victorian Causeway and Look Out Hill Walk. Combined with a truly spectacular location these developments enhance an already remarkable place.
Representatives from Mulranny Tourism and Fáilte Ireland, travelled to Brussels in late September to accept the 2011 award on behalf of the Community of Mulranny, Greenway Landowners, Mayo Co. Council and everyone involved in the Regeneration of Mulranny’s tourism product.
This is the 5th year of the European Commission sponsored EDEN Awards (European Destinations of Excellence) and 21 winning destinations across Europe were selected for their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability and for reflecting this year’s theme:- “Tourism and Regeneration of Physical sites”.
EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) is a project that promotes sustainable tourism development models across the European Union. National competitions take place every year and result in the selection of a tourist “destination of excellence” for each participating country.
A decade of community-led regeneration was to undo a century of decline when the area’s decaying built railway heritage was sensitively renewed for future generations to enjoy. The former Mulranny Railway hotel was reopened in 2005 inspiring a community led initiative to redevelop the Mulranny Causeway and the Victorian walking trails into a high amenity loop walk accessing three European-designated Natura 2000 sites. Finally, 73 years after closure, the Great Western Railway Line was re-born as the Great Western Greenway. The walk and cycling trail offers stunning panoramic views over the vast seascape of Clew Bay, its archipelago of drowned drumlin islands, the vast Nephin mountain range and Bellacragher Bay. The 42 km Great Western Greenway offers an exhilarating and safe experience for all the family with gentle gradients, through some of the most spectacular landscapes and seascapes in Europe.
Ireland’s Five European Destinations of Excellence
Ireland has always been known throughout the world as an excellent tourism destination. Now it’s one of five Irish official European Destinations of Excellence.
Clonakilty District, Carlingford and the Cooley peninsula, The Sheeps’s Head Way and Loop Head Peninsula and Mulranny along with The Great Western Greenway are not only some of the most spectacular and unspoiled destinations in Ireland – but also in the whole of Europe.
The regenerated Railway Heritage of Mulranny and the Great Western Railway Line has made way for the emergence of The Great Western Greenway, Ireland’s Worldclass 42km off road cycle and walking track. But add that to the Loop Head Peninsula awash with watersports and wildlife, the ancient Irish legends and landscape of Louth’s Cooley Peninsula, the coastal buzz and colour of Clonakilty and the awesome looped walk circuiting the Sheep’s Head peninsula both in West Cork, and you have a fantastic showcase for Ireland’s beauty, diversity and cultural heritage.