Tralee, Co Kerry and Lismore, Co Waterford residents are still celebrating after the tourist hot-spots bagged the coveted titles of Failte Ireland’s Best Large Tourism Town and Best Small Tourism Town, respectively.

Of course, we wanted to know exactly how the locals felt about the amazing accolade; so we spoke to Kerry-born model Grace Madden, who recently left her home town of Tralee for the ‘big smoke’!

Madden told Nitelife: “I grew up in Tralee and lived there until just recently. It’s always been a thing that people compare Tralee with Killarney on the tourism side of things. In a way, I am surprised, but not at the same time; Tralee has some amazing attributes like: Siamsa Tire, the national folk theatre of Ireland, and not to mention, the beautiful views.

Clearly a big fan of the Southern town, the 22-year-old continued: “It has great shops and restaurants, too. And when I do talk to tourists they love the town! The grass always does seem greener, but now that I’m away from it for a couple of months, I do miss it!”

The announcement was made late last month by Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD. Minister Ring joined in honouring the towns by saying: “These awards are all about honouring the towns that put tourism at the centre of what they do and both winner really impressed with their local communities pulling together for the greater good of their town.

Other than the two high-performing locales, eight other areas were given honourary mention: Adare, Cobh, Killarney, Killkenny, Sneem, Clonakilty, Ardmore, and Kenmare.

Well, we know where our next few staycations are going to be!