The world-famous Hook Lighthouse was named as Overall Winner of the Munster Express/Dooley’s Hotel Heritage & Culture Awards for 2009 at a ceremony held at Dooley’s Hotel on Thursday evening last.
“I’m absolutely stunned and thrilled all at once,” said Lighthouse centre manager Ann Waters, when picking up the overall award designed and sculpted by Dunmore East resident Michael Fitzgerald.
“This really caught me by surprise, I have to admit,” said Ann, who was literally caught for words after accepting the stunning prize, sculpted from wood recovered near the source of the River Suir. “I really wasn’t expecting to be up here in front of everybody here today!
“But on behalf of everyone at Hook Lighthouse, many, many thanks to Dooley’s Hotel and The Munster Express for creating these awards and for choosing us as winners of this fantastic prize.”
Ann continued: “To be singled out from among the many superb organisations and individuals that have been recognised by these awards over the past year is a source of enormous pride to me and everyone associated with the lighthouse.
“We’re all the same boat in the south east, whether we’re promoting heritage or culture and I can’t really put into words how grateful and delighted we are to receive this wonderful award.”
The Lighthouse, considered one of the country’s leading tourist attractions by a host of experts, including the Lonely Planet Guide, is also home to a range of art classes, a café and gift shop.
“And of course we have our own whales now,” joked Ann, referencing the recent spectacular humpback whale breaching three miles off the Hook.
“It’s a fantastic location, it’s steeped in history, our staff treats each other like family and there’s hardly a day goes by, driving down towards the Lighthouse, that I don’t pinch myself because it’s such an absolute pleasure to work there.”
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.