The residents of Cappa Lodge in Sixmilebridge have created a sense of pride and cultivated greater community spirit through their efforts to improve their estate but their hard work has earned them the title of Clare’s best kept estate.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony in Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis earlier this week. Cappa Lodge residents will receive an engraved limestone plaque and a voucher for €1,100. A representative of the group was also presented with the Mary Hennessy Memorial Award on the night.
In addition to the overall prize, Cappa Lodge also received the top category prize for estates with over 51 houses.
Speaking about the awards, Mayor of Clare Councillor Christy Curtin said, “It is great to reward residents associations and community groups for their work in their neighbourhoods and towns and villages. This was the first year the two awards were presented in the same ceremony. Tidy neighbourhoods lead to tidy towns and villages, so it’s easy to see that these two awards of the council are complementary and both competitions have the overall aim of enhancing the physical, environmental and community fabric of Clare”.
A total of 26 local authority residents’ associations were honoured as part of the Best Kept Local Authority Estate awards ceremony.
The competition comprises three entry categories, based on the size of the estate and entrants were marked against adjudication criteria that included resident involvement, litter control/litter awareness projects/recycling initiatives, general environmental and special projects, general appearance and presentation of dwellings and open spaces.
The first prize for estates with up to 30 houses went to St Joseph’s Road, Ballyvaughan. Millstream in Killaloe took first place for estates with up to 50, while first prize for estates with over 51 houses went to Cappa Lodge, which also won the overall award.
Individual awards were also awarded on the night to Creag Bhriain, Corofin for best new entrant; Millstream, Killaloe for most improved; Ballard Road, Miltown Malbay for judges special award and Ardnaculla, Ennistymon for best youth involvement. A further 19 prizes were awarded to local authority resident associations throughout the county.
Speaking about the awards, Caroline O’Sullivan chairperson of the Cappa Lodge Residents Association said, “A lot of it is about pride. If you don’t have pride in where you live, it doesn’t mean anything and it gives us a lot of pride in where we live to keep it looking well and it is great to get something back for our efforts”.
The estate had taken category prizes in 2003 and 2004 and an overall award in 2005 but this year’s success has seen them achieve the double with an overall award and the top award in their category.
“This year we added a lot more flower beds, more shrubs and trees and hedging. There are 10 people involved in the committee, it’s a lot of hard work but it’s a great community thing as well.
“We came third last year in our category and so we put in a big effort this year and we wanted to win the category. We are very surprised to win the overall, people were jumping out of their seats. It has given people a lift.
“We were one of the first estates to have to a residents association and now every other estate in Sixmilebridge has, so that’s great for tidy towns. This really brought people together this year, people got to know each other. We spent a lot of days out working on it but it was good fun and there was good comradery,” Ms O’Sullivan said.
Congratulating the efforts of Cappa Lodge Residents Association, Councillor PJ Ryan said the award is a fitting testament to the amount of work carried out by the local committee in recent times.
Councillor Ryan pointed out residents put a great deal of time and effort cleaning up the front and rear of their properties, which is an area that was sometimes neglected by other groups.