The IrishTimes.com website was last night crowned the best website in Ireland at the Realex 2010 Irish Web Awards. As usual the Damien Mulley-organised event was a raucous celebration of all that is good about the Internet in Ireland.

Irish Web Awards 2010 - image courtesy of Fran from Made In Hollywood

Irish Web Awards 2010 - image courtesy of Fran from Made In Hollywood

More than any other web awards, this event helps give profile to lesser-known websites that are doing something remarkable. These awards, judged this year by 170 people from throughout the web industry in Ireland, are by many considered to be the anti-establishment awards. And so it is quite an achievement when big brand website makes it to the final shortlist and goes on to win.

The Irish Times website has won the Best Online Publication category for three years running. The first year that they won they didn’t even turn up at the event. They’ve apologised since and are certainly now conscious of the value of being recognised by the web community in Ireland.  They won the grand prix website this year according to Mulley because it is a “well-designed, open website which provides valuable information to Ireland and beyond” plus “importantly, the blogging and Twitter interactions by Irish Times staff means it is a strong member of the Irish web community.”

From the early years of the Internet, the Irish Times has been a source of innovation leadership in the online space in Ireland. The team continues to innovate and the mobile version of the paper is the fifth most popular free download on iTunes today. The newspaper industry today is struggling as it competes with the myriad of free news and content services available. Over the coming years the battleground for both survival and growth for newspapers will be the web. The Irish Times is well positioned to survive and thrive in that battle. Well done guys.

Check out the list of other deserving winners courtesy of Darragh on Boards.ie