Two of Clare’s participating communities, Killaloe and Tuamgraney received named Runner-Up prizes in their respective categories while Clare County Council won a special award for its contribution to the all-island competition since it was first established in 2003.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Clare County Council and Cooperation Ireland, which runs the competition north and south of the border.
Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr. Tony O’Brien congratulated Clare’s strong performance in the competition.
“I am delighted that Clare has once again featured prominently in this annual awards scheme which is testament to the pride of place that the people of the county have for the areas they live in,” he said.
Councillor O’Brien added: “I want to congratulate the communities of Tuamgraney and my native Killaloe on their success and for helping to maintain Clare’s impressive record of achievement in the competition to date. I am especially pleased that Clare was able to host such a significant national event which was commented on favourably by Elected Member colleagues of mine who had travelled to Ennis from all over the island to attend.”
This year’s IPB Pride of Place competition was extended to include 20 categories ranging from Housing Estates to Community Initiatives and from Community Health to Island & Coastal Communities.
Tuamgraney Community Woodland was named runner-up in Category 6 (Eco Community Initiative), which was won by Festina Lente, a Wicklow-based not-for-profit organization providing a range of occupational learning and employment opportunities for people whose needs have not been met by mainstream services.
Clarisford Ltd. (Killaloe/Ballina) also finished as runner-up in Category 7 (Community Innovation), which was won by New Ross Allotments and Men’s Shed in Wexford.
Clare County Council meanwhile, won the Council Community Engagement Award. The Judges noted that the Council has been to the forefront of Pride of Place since the beginning and has been a driver of the awards recognising the great value they are in motivating communities to work together.
The Judges’ citation continued: “In addition this year despite managing the most significant changes ever in the history of local government and the extensive workload that entailed, the council still managed to organise with great attention to detail what I am sure you will all agree is one the finest award ceremonies ever hosted.”
Speaking following Saturday night’s awards ceremony, Council Chief Executive Tom Coughlan expressed his pride at Clare’s success in the competition as well as the County’s successful hosting of this year’s awards ceremony.
“The positive economic impact of this event for Ennis and the wider County is significant and underlines the Council’s commitment to attracting large events to County Clare,” he added.
Pride of Place Coordinator in Clare, Nicola Killeen commented: “Clare County Council is delighted to have played its part in assisting our Pride of Place participants during 2014. I want to congratulate Killaloe and Tuamgraney along with Clare’s other participating communities, Lisdoonvarna Fáilte Ltd and Clarecastle Community Development Ltd. for representing their local areas and the county with pride during the year.”
“This competition is a wonderful vehicle for local community groups to showcase the positive contribution that they make to the overall enhancement of their localities. Clare County Council looks forward to supporting other Clare communities in next year’s competition,” Ms. Killeen concluded.
A special programme on the 2014 IPB Pride of Place Awards ceremony will be broadcast on the ‘Clare County Matters’ show on Irish TV this Friday at 7.30pm.