Clare County Council has confirmed that judging in the 2016 IPB Pride of Place Competition will take place in County Clare on Tuesday June 28th.
Clare is represented in the 14th annual all-island initiative by Clare Bus and Ogonnelloe Exchange in the Reaching Out Initiative and Community Enterprise Initiative categories respectively.
The Clare projects will be hoping to emulate numerous local successes in the competition of recent years, including the first place award to Doonbeg Community Development in 2015, Killaloe and Tuamgraney’s Runner-Up finishes in 2014 and Miltown Malbay’s first place award in 2013. Clare County Council also won a special award in 2014 for its contribution to the competition since it was first established in 2003.
Run by Co-Operation Ireland in conjunction with local authorities north and south of the border, the all-island initiative aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society.
“Judging day is a special occasion and represents an ideal opportunity for the people of Ogonnelloe and everyone associated with Clare Bus to show pride in their projects by supporting organised events”, said Cllr. James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.
He added, “The performance of Clare’s Pride of Place participants in previous years is evidence of the depth and breadth of voluntary activity underway in communities across the county. I am confident the 2016 participants will maintain Clare’s impressive track record in the competition.”
Clare Bus is a registered business name of Clare Accessible Transport. It began operating in 2003 with one easy access bus operating in East Clare. Steady progress has led to a network of flexible services throughout Clare and parts of South Galway operated by 9 low floor buses. The entire fleet has been secured through funding from private sources and the HSE.
Ogonnelloe Exchange is a local community development organisation established in 2015. Donal O’Connor, Chairperson of Ogonnelloe Exchange said he hopes the community’s nomination will do justice to “the tremendous effort which has been given by all the community throughout a long history of community initiatives which were always undertaken with pride of place.”
“We feel our project is a good example of how local community vision and spirit can work in conjunction with Clare County Council to develop a sustainable community platform for social, environmental and economic activities,” said Mr. O’Connor.
“Over many decades the people of Ogonnelloe have maintained local infrastructure, such as GAA fields, schools and churches with a community spirit. This community spirit has been maintained as the community has grown in numbers and diversity over the last twenty years. In 2013 the need to have a footpath to connect the community with the GAA pitch, the school, church and village hall was met with an innovative approach in collaboration with Clare County Council,” he said.
“The completion of the footpath inspired further community initiatives such as a Saturday morning community café, the ongoing development of a local broadband strategy and the development of a local enterprise hub. We are also exploring the potential for the development of a lake view walk connecting the community while also forming a key piece of an overall walk between Killaloe and Scarriff,” concluded Mr. O’Connor.
Judging for Pride of Place 2016 takes place in Clare on June 28th with both Clare projects being assessed under the following criteria: ‘Impact on Community’; ‘Innovation’; ‘Sustainability’; ‘Local Leadership’; ‘Management’ and ‘Overall Impression’. Winners, runners up and special award recipients will receive a trophy and a small monetary prize at November’s awards ceremony, at a location and date yet to be confirmed.