Five vibrant Galway communities and projects of varying shapes and sizes did their county proud when they took part in this year’s IPB All Ireland Pride of Place competition run by Co-operation Ireland in association with local authorities North and South of the border recently.
Belclare-Sylane, Claregalway, Iorras Aithneach from Conamara, Killimor and Shragh/Woodford were the nominations across the various population categories and themes.
Claregalway, Belclare-Sylane and the Iorras Aithneach entry all took runners-up prizes in their categories at the gala awards ceremony in Ennis.
Moreover Iorras Aithneach were nominated to enter the competition for international liveable communities (LIVCOM) in 2016.
The IPB Pride of Place Awards Initiative is a competition to recognise improvements made by local communities to create civic pride in their area. The aim of IPB Pride of Place is to encourage best practice, innovation and leadership in providing vibrant sustainable communities that improve the quality of life for all.
In April 2014, Galway County Council was invited to nominate communities in the County to represent County Galway for inclusion in the 2014 competition.
Shannonside Community Group, representing Shragh-Woodford, was the entry in the category for areas with a population of between 250 and 750; Belclare-Sylane Community Council was the nominee for areas with a population of 750 to 1,000; Claregalway Development Association was Galway’s representative in the 1,500 to 4,000 population.
Iorras Aithneach, Forbairt Chonamara Láir, was Galway’s entry in the Island and Coastal Communities section, while Killimor Leisure and Fitness was entered in the Community Health Initiative section.
Pride of Place Judges had visited each of the five communities in County Galway between July 21st and 23rd, commencing in Iorras Aithneach.
Each community provided a formal presentation followed by a question and answers session and a tour of their locaility to let the Judges see first-hand the achievements of the communities. For photos from the Claregalway adjudication, check out our album on Facebook here.
Speaking in relation to the competition, Councillor Mary Hoade, Cathaoirleach of County Galway stated “Elected members are aware of the high level of community and voluntary activity throughout the County and competitions such as Pride of Place give great encouragement at parish and community level.
“I would like to extend my best wishes to each of the communities/initiatives, to thank them for their huge efforts in competition 2014 and wish them every success in the future.”
Galway County Council Chief Executive Kevin Kelly acknowledged the ‘impressive’ amount of work being undertaken by communities and voluntary organisations.
“The Pride of Place Initiative is a great opportunity to showcase community efforts at a national level. The activities of community groups often bridge the gap in areas where public services and/or supports may not reach” he said.
“Some of the initiatives undertaken in County Galway are remarkable and a credit to community groups. The Pride of Place initiative presents communities with an opportunity to celebrate their achievements and provides a welcome recogtnition which also serves as a motivation to continue the good work. I look forward to continuing to work with the communities in the development of their areas,” he added.