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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton, has extended his congratulations to Spike Island as it was crowned Europe’s leading tourist attraction at the World Travel Awards 2017. Cork County Mayor Declan Hurley attended the awards ceremony at the event in St Petersburg.

“This is a huge achievement for Spike Island and everyone involved in the project deserves huge praise for what they have achieved. There were 10 finalists in the European category and Spike Island beat such iconic attractions as the Acropolis, the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace. Winners were selected by public vote and from those working in the tourism industry.

“This award is testament to the success and popularity of Spike Island as a visitor attraction since it was reopened in June 2016 under a Cork County Council and Failte Ireland co-funded project. I understand that Spike Island has welcomed over 45,000 visitors this year and a target of 100,000 per annum has been set for 2020. This target has been made even more achievable due to the profile of this award.

“I have visited Spike Island on many occasions, most recently when I facilitated a visit by the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Richard Andrews, on 7 July 2017. I also had the honour, on 12 May, of presenting a chalice and paten, previously held in Mountjoy, from the Irish Prison Service to Cork County Council for display on Spike Island. On each visit I have been hugely impressed with the quality of the site and artefacts, the knowledge of those working on tours and the overall visitor experience in a place with such a rich history.

“I am delighted that Spike Island has won this award and am confident of the huge benefit that this award will be for tourism in Cobh, the East Cork area and Cork as a whole.