Category Four: Population Category 2,000 – 5,000

Winner: Skibbereen, Co Cork


Skibbereen, a market town steeped in history, is a progressive, forward thinking town. It suffered in the downturn but is now frequently cited as a model for the re-invigoration of other rural towns around the country. The most southerly town in Ireland, Skibbereen has a population of almost 3,000 but serves a hinterland of around 10,000, making it an important centre for business, tourism and culture. There is lately a renewal of interest amongst the business and community groups in re-imagining the possibilities for the town and its environs, with a strong emphasis on reducing the community’s carbon footprint. Skibbereen & District Chamber of Commerce while based in the business community is interested in how the town presents itself to visitors and locals and further developing it as a tourist destination. The Chamber sponsors/supports a number of community group projects and festivals and works closely with Cork County Council on public realm projects and the more recent Project ACT (Activating County Towns).

Community Contact: [email protected]


The category winner is a progressive town, revitalized and reimagined, with great plans for the future, with the Chamber of Commerce to the fore in much of the progress that has taken place. Implementation of a flood relief scheme, completion of a purpose built art centre and the managing of the local tourist office convinced the judges of serious vision.