Oonagh and John O'Neill who run Golfkeel Cottages have made history in winning for a second time the coveted 'Establishment of the Year' award presented by the tourism industry to the top NI tourism venue.

Their popular self-catering cottages, which are adjacent to Banbridge golf course, were chosen by the judges because they were deemed to offer the highest quality and most appeal for tourists.

The judges were full of priase for Golfkeel and they spoke in glowing terms of the standard of accommodation being offered by Oonagh and John.

They commented: "The winner of this category has been the recipient of many quality awards and is no stranger to the winners' enclosure.

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"This establishment is often extolled for its high standards, the warm and enthusiastic welcome and the excellent facilities and amenities on offer.

"Although the exterior is said to make a good impression on arrival, it would seem that the lounge and dining areas are even better and the bedrooms are deemed worthy of at least a four-star hotel rating.

"This entry must surely be the epitome of self-catering accommodation."

Golfkeel was picked out of a staggering 406 entries for the top accolade - the cottages had already won the competition in 2002/2003.

John commented: "We are delighted to see the award coming to Banbridge.

"There were over 400 entries into the competition and it's the second time our cottages have won it - no one has ever won it twice.

"Golfkeel is a fairly popular place and we get a lot of visitors between May and August from the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

"We get people touring Ireland and using Banbridge as a base, and we also get people researching their ancestry or visiting family and friends."

Golfkeels website address is www.golfkeel.co.uk

Oonagh and John joined almost 400 people recently at a glittering gala event held in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast, and organised by the Northern Ireland tourism industry.