CLARE County Council was rewarded for promoting community endeavour with a national award, which was presented at the end of the Pride of Place gala ceremony.
The local authority received the Council Community Engagement Award at the function that they hosted in conjunction with Cooperation Ireland, which runs the competition north and south of the border.
In their citation, 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.
“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 of the finest award ceremonies ever hosted,” the judges stated.
The awards recognise cities, towns and communities that show respect and inclusion for every sector in local areas and create communities to which the people are proud to say they belong.
A total of 46 groups, ranging from small rural communities to inner city housing estates, won accolades.
The Master of Ceremonies was RTÉ sports commentator Marty Morrissey, who was joined on stage by Councillor Tony O’Brien, Leas Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council; Ronan Foley, chief executive of IPB; Dr Christopher Moran, chairman of Co-operation Ireland; Tom Dowling, chairman of Pride of Place, Paddy Crowe, Inis Oirr and George Jones, chairman, IPB, to present the winners with their awards.
Council chief executive officer, Tom Coughlan expressed his pride at Clare’s success in the competition, as well as the county’s successful hosting of the 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 Clare,” he added.
Councillor O’Brien said Clare has a proud tradition in the competition and noted the council was honoured to play host to community groups from all over the country.
“The Pride of Place Awards gave the council an opportunity to showcase the county to a national audience and also celebrate the vital contributions made by community partnerships,” he said.
Competition chairman, Tom Dowling said communities all over Ireland continue to demonstrate to the judges their amazing capacity to care for the people in their communities and respect their heritage, culture and environment.
Pride of Place coordinator in Clare, Nicola Killeen said the council was delighted to have played its part in assisting the Pride of Place participants during 2014.
She also paid tribute to 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.