Community and residents groups from across Clare gathered at Áras Contae on Chláir for the annual Clare County Council Community Awards Night during which the winners of the ‘Best Kept Local Authority Estates’, ‘Clare in Bloom’ and ‘Clare Pride of Place’ competitions for 2016 were announced.
In his opening address, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Cllr. Bill Chambers said: “These awards give Clare County Council the opportunity to show its appreciation of the work communities carry out on a daily basis to improve their local areas. Collectively, local communities across Clare are helping to further enhance the appearance of our County”.
Cllr. Chambers also thanked the two sponsors of the Clare in Bloom Competition; ESB Moneypoint and Roche Ireland for their continued support.
Councillor Gerry Flynn, Cathaoirleach of the Planning & Housing SPC presented the awards for the Best Kept Local Authority Estates Competition. He commended the residents in each of the estates for their achievements, which involved enhancement of the appearance and presentation of dwellings and open spaces within their estates.
“In this the 14th year of the Best Kept Local Authority Estate Competition, we cannot underestimate the value and contribution being made by the residents associations throughout the county. We must also acknowledge the difficult financial climate which these groups are working within, and these awards are recognition of their continued commitment,” added Councillor Flynn.
The overall winner of the competition was Connaught Road, Scariff which was awarded an engraved plaque, a cheque for €600 and the Mary Hennessy Memorial Award. Individual awards were also presented to Rooska, Lisdoonvarna (Most Improved), Finnuremore Park, Mullagh and Ballard Road, Miltown Malbay (Special Youth Involvement) with Judges Special Awards going to Riverview, Tuamgraney and Connaught Road Scariff.
Category 1 of the competition for estates comprising up to 30 houses was won by Lower Main Street, Tulla which finished ahead of St. Josephs Rd., Ballyvaughan and Finnuremore Park, Mullagh (joint 2nd), and Creag Bhriain, Corofin (3rd). Bishop Murphy Park, Parteen Smithsgardens, Kilkee Lackyle, Whitegate, and St. Luas Villas, Killaloe were ‘Highly Commended’ . Clarisford, Killaloe, Crossroads, Killaloe and Church Road, Miltown Malbay were commended.
Category 2 for estates comprising 31-50 houses was won by Connaught Road, Scariff which finished ahead of Station Road Lahinch and Riverview, Tuamgraney (Joint 2nd), and Toormore, Ruan (3rd). Clarehill, Clarecastle was Commended.
Category 3 of the competition for estates comprising 50 or more houses was won by Marian Estate Kilkee and Rooska, Lisdoonvarna finished 2nd ahead of Ballard Road, Miltown Malbay 3rd, while Derryvinna/Glor na Srutha, Clonlara were Highly Commended and Churchdrive/Aonach an Chlair, Clarecastle Commended.
Clare in Bloom, an awards scheme for community groups actively involved in the improvement and enhancement of their localities, this year featured 29 participants from around the County. The Cathaoirleach’s Award was presented to Labasheeda while Ballynacally Tidy Towns was named Overall Winner of Clare in Bloom 2015.
Councillor Joe Cooney, Cathaoirleach of the Environment & Transportation SPC presented the awards for the Clare in Bloom competition along with representatives from one of the competition sponsors, ESB Moneypoint.
He stated, “I salute and congratulate all participating communities for making Clare in Bloom a real celebration of community spirit, teamwork and awareness of the natural environment. I also would like to compliment the staff of Clare County Council, my fellow elected representatives and the competition sponsors for the assistance they have provided to Clare in Bloom participants throughout the year.”
Kilrush Tidy Towns took 1st place in Category 1 of the competition while Newmarket on Fergus Tidy Towns and Lisdoonvarna Community Council secured 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Kildysart Tidy Towns came 1st in Category 2, Barefield Tidy Village came 2nd and Doolin Tidy Towns came 3rd. In Category 3, Knock Tidy Village was awarded 1st prize, 2nd prize went to Tuamgraney Development Association and Ballyvaughan Tidy Towns were awarded 3rd prize.
‘Special Endeavour’ awards were also presented to An Sean Dún Res Association, Kilmurry Tidy Towns, Bodyke Tidy Towns, Laghtagoona Residents Association, Bridgetown Tidy Towns, Mullagh Tidy Village, Cloverhill Residents Association, O’Briensbridge Community Group, Connolly Tidy Village, Primrose Gardens Residents Association, Cooraclare Tidy Towns, Ruan Tidy Towns, Corofin Tidy Towns, St Mary’s Community Development, Doonbeg Tidy Towns, Tulla Tidy Towns, Feakle Community Council, Whitegate Community Council
Meanwhile, two local groups were last night honoured for their commitment, effort and dedication to the enhancement of their communities as part of their participation in the IPB Pride of Place Competition 2016. The annual all-island competition, which is run by Co-operation Ireland in conjunction with local authorities north and south of the border, aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society.
Clare’s participants in this year’s competition, Clare Bus and Ogonnelloe Exchange will be hoping to emulate the success of other local community groups in previous years at the Pride of Place ceremony in Belfast on 26th November, 2016.