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Ulster eateries feature in Irish Restaurant Awards

Co Antrim restaurant Clenaghans scooped the 'best newcomer' award

ULSTER eateries have featured in accolades at the Irish Restaurant Awards, including the All Ireland newcomer.

Clenaghans in Co Antrim and Harvey's Point in Co Donegal were among the winners at this year's awards in Dublin.

More than 1,000 restaurateurs and staff from restaurants and hospitality establishments in Ireland attended the event, which "celebrated the achievements and perseverance within the industry over the last 12 months".

More than 90,000 online nominations were received for Irish restaurants and hospitality businesses across 21 categories this year.

One of the main Ulster winners was Co Antrim restaurant Clenaghans, which scooped the 'best newcomer' award.

Under the guidance of a Michelin star chef, Danni Barry, formerly of Michael Deanes Eipic, the restaurant reopened last year and is being run by Stevie and Cristina Higginson, proprietors at Square Bistro, Lisburn.

Among the restaurants it beat to win the award were Michael's Mount Merrion in Dublin and Hooked in Connaught.

Another Ulster winner was Co Donegal hotel Harvey's Point which won the 'best customer service' prize.

Other Ulster eateries to receive nominations included Newforge House, a 5-star country guest house in Co Armagh, the Jolly Sandwich Bar in Enniskillen and Ox Cave and Shu, both in Belfast.

Dublin eatery Etto won the most coveted price of the night, Restaurant of the Year, while Jess Murphy from Kai Restaurant in Galway was awarded the best chef accolade.

Adrian Cummins from the Restaurants Association of Ireland said the winners and finalists were "utterly deserving of the recognition they have received".

"On our 10th anniversary of the Irish Restaurant Awards, I’m delighted to report that this has been our most successful year to-date," he said.

"These awards are the accolades of the Irish restaurant industry and they celebrate only the very best that this country has to offer.

"From over 90,000 online nominations cast earlier this year to 3,000 guests attending our regional events, it is clear that the stature, calibre and reputation of the awards is expanding at a considerable rate and it is all in aid of highlighting the talent within our sector."

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