A host of Ireland’s leading golf tourism companies were recognised in Killarney at the 2013 Gala Irish Golf Awards, the pinnacle of a three day National Golf Tourism Conference supported by The European Tour.
The 16th IGTOA National Golf Tourism Conference and 2013 Gala Irish Golf Awards is the largest gathering of golf industry and golf tourism professionals across the island of Ireland each year and is hosted in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland.
Each year the IGTOA – Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association – recognises a person in the international golf industry that has made a significant contribution to Irish golf throughout their life and career, through the presenting of the Jerry Donworth Lifetime Achievement Award, an award presented last year to European Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills.
Jay Connolly, Director of the Waterville Golf Links was recognised this year for the pivotal role he has played throughout his life in Irish golf, the award being presented to him by Minister Michael Ring, the Minister for Sport and Tourism.
Richard Hills – who was once again in attendance in Killarney alongside a number of special guests including Minister Jimmy Deenihan from Kerry, the local Minister for Arts, Hertiage and Gaeltacht – was the first to offer his congratulations.
“Speaking personally, I know how much of a thrill it is to receive the Jerry Donworth Award and I want to congratulate Jay on his achievement,” said Hills. “I also want to congratulate all the award winners on a wonderful night which once again recognised the sterling work undertaken by the golf tourism industry as a whole in Ireland.”
Companies accepting awards on the night were as follows:
The Ross, Killarney 2013 IGTOA Boutique Golf Hotel of the Year Award
The Conrad, Dublin 2013 IGTOA Large Golf Hotel of the Year Award
Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort 2013 IGTOA Golf Resort of the Year Award
Royal Belfast Golf Club 2013 IGTOA Parkland Golf Course of the Year Award
Lahinch Golf Club 2013 IGTOA Links Golf Course of the Year Award
Eoin O’Sullivan 2013 IGTOA Golf Manager of the Year Award
The Royal Dublin Golf Club
Jay Connolly, Waterville Golf Links 2013 Jerry Donworth Outstanding Contribution to Golf
The event is run each year by the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association (IGTOA) which is an organisation represents the National Irish Golf Tourism Industry and is pro-active in the promotion, growth and development of Irish Golf Tourism overseas.