Co Kerry has the most towns featured on the list with five entries, while Cork has three with Clonakilty, Cobh and Youghal.
According to Fáilte Ireland, the towns selected will now be subject to unannounced inspections by ‘secret shoppers’ over the coming weeks. The list then gets narrowed down to 10, then both the best large and small tourism town will be announced in November.
This is the fourth year the awards have been held. Last year, Westport won the award for best large tourism town and Kinsale was given the award in the small town category.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring said the awards were about recognising the efforts of tows and villages to make Ireland a more attractive place to tourists.
Towns in the competition will be judged based on development and promotion, local involvement, tourism products available and “sense of place”, according to Fáilte Ireland.
You can view the full shortlist for 2015 below:
1. Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny
2. Lismore, Co Waterford
3. Killarney, Co Kerry
4. Clonakilty, Co Cork
5. Belmullet (Beal an Mhurtaigh), Co Mayo
6. Ardmore, Co Waterford
7. Tralee, Co Kerry
8 . Adare, Co Limerick
9. Sneem, Co Kerry
10. Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim
11. Kenmare, Co Kerry
12. Portmagee, Co Kerry
13. Cobh, Co Cork
14. Youghal, Co Cork
15. Mountshannon, Co Clare