Clare County Council has received national recognition for its longstanding support of the Ennis Book Club Festival.
The Local Authority was named overall winner of the Supporting Tourism Award category, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland, at the 2016 Excellence in Local Government Awards held in Dublin on Thursday night.
Run by Chambers Ireland, the award scheme showcases best practice in local government. The awards are judged by a panel of expert judges and have been taking place since 2004.
Every year the Ennis Book Club Festival takes place in early March and attracts thousands of book club members and book lovers from all over Ireland, Europe and North America. The annual programme of events features author visits, readings, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, poetry sessions and lively debate on current topical issues.
“This award nomination is testament to Clare County Council’s ongoing support for festival organisers throughout the County. Since its inception in 2007, the Ennis Book Club Festival is has drawn many thousands of tourists to Ennis. It is has presented a unique opportunity for book club members and authors to meet and exchange ideas about all aspects of literature and therefore, has added greatly to Clare’s status as a County of Culture” stated Councillor Bill Chambers, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, commented, “Clare County Council, through Clare County Library, has been a key supporter of the Festival for the past nine years. This support, which is both logistical and financial, has helped establish the Ennis Book Club Festival as one of the leading events of its kind anywhere in Ireland and beyond. We look forward to providing continued support in the future.”
County Librarian Helen Walsh added, “Clare County Library works closely with the Festival Organising Committee to help deliver a successful event every year. In doing so, thousands of people travel to Ennis each March to engage in everything Ennis has to offer as well as visiting the town’s many bookshops and host venues, including the excellent facilities at glór. This award recognition will instil confidence in everybody involved to further develop the Festival offering into the future. I also wish to congratulate Emer O’Connell (Chair) and her dedicated committee members on delivering consistently on what is a mainstay of the cultural calendar in the county each March.”
Clare County Council’s support for the Ennis Book Club Festival was named overall winner from a Supporting Tourism category shortlist also including Carlow County Council (Carlow Food Tourism Project), Cork County Council (Fortress Spike Island – Phase 1) and South Dublin County Council (Dublin Mountains Partnership).