The communities of Bunratty, Ennis and Westbury will represent County Clare in the 2019 IPB Pride of Place competition.
Three separate projects have been nominated by the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council to participate in annual all-island competition, which is run by Co-operation Ireland and aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society.
Bunratty Local Development Association has been nominated in the Community Tourism Initiative category. Formed five years ago, the Association’s activities are focused on regenerating the heart of the village through restoration works, landscaping and maintaining the village to the highest possible standard. Among the projects undertaken to date By local volunteers is the restoration of monuments, planting, landscaping, two new heritage style bus shelters in village centre, using local skills and labour and a new gateway to the graveyard and old mediaeval church – which is the oldest building in Bunratty.
Ennis Tidy Towns has been nominated to participate in Category 5, for towns with a population of over 5,000 people. Now one the longest serving Tidy Towns groups in the country, the group has for 30 years championed community-led projects which foster a sense of place, promote engagement, all of which makes Ennis a wonderful place to live, work and visit. Current activities include community arts initiatives, clean-ups, climate change campaigns, sustainability and waste management projects and enhancing local green spaces for pollinators and biodiversity.
The Moorings, Westbury, has been nominated to take part in Category 10 (Housing Estates) of the competition. Built 25 years ago and home to 900 homes, the estate is home to the Moorings Pond which residents maintain in the middle of the large green area. Various Plants were introduced and now the pond is home to a flock of Mallard and Moorhen among many other species of wildlife. Elderly residents from the local Nursing home and children with their parents regularly visit to observe the bird activity. Residents are currently engaging with the wider community to develop wildlife sections on Greens by continuing to organize Environmental Walks and Talks throughout the Estate.
Mayor of Clare Cllr. Michael Begley described the competition as the ‘Oscars of the Community Sector’ as they “celebrate the often unsung work of community groups that selflessly work to make local neighbourhoods a better place to live in, work in or visit.”
“Clare has a wonderful record of success in this competition and with the support of Clare County Council, this year’s participating communities will be in a position to put their best foot forward when the adjudicators meet them and review their projects,” he added.
Nicola Killeen, Pride of Place Co-Coordinator, Clare County Council, commented, “An integral part of the success of our participating projects in previous years has been the continued support of the wider community particularly during the judging stage later in the summer. During the coming weeks and months, Clare County Council will be assisting the participating project with their preparations.”
Judging for Pride of Place 2019 takes place between June and August with winners, runners up and special award recipients receiving a trophy and a small monetary prize at an awards ceremony on 30th November in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny.
Clare has enjoyed considerable success in the competition during recent years with Shannon being named overall winner of Category 5 for population centres of over 5,000 people in 2018. Previous successes include a ‘Special Award for the villages of Cooraclare and Cree in 2017, a first place award for 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.