Community and residents groups from across Clare gathered in Ennis last night (Monday) for the annual Clare County Council Community Awards Night.
Connaught Road in Scariff claimed the top prize in the ‘Best Kept Local Authority Estates Competition’ and Ballynacally Tidy Towns was named overall winner of the ‘Clare In Bloom’ competition, with the Mayor’s Environmental Award going to Mountshannon Community Council. Clare’s four Pride of Place participants were also honoured for their participation in the annual all-island competition.
Addressing the large gathering in the Council Chamber at Áras Contae an Chláir, Cathaoirleach John Crowe acknowledged the work being undertaken within Clare communities to enhance the living environment.
“There is a great level of volunteerism and community spirit in this County as is evidenced by the interest in these awards. I also want to thank the adjudicators and the two sponsors of the Clare in Bloom Competition; ESB Moneypoint and Roche Ireland for their continued support,” added the Cathaoirleach.
Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council added: “Even though we are experiencing difficult times as a Council, I think it is vital to support communities and that is why we continue to stage these awards. It is our way of acknowledging that the work local communities carry out not only has a positive impact on their localities, but has a real benefit in terms of the economy and particularly in terms of tourism in County Clare.
Commenting on the Best Kept Local Authority Estates Competition, Mr. Coughlan said: “The Council is committed to implementing an Estate Management Strategy to improve the appearance of estates and indeed the quality of life of the residents within their estates. This Strategy is very much dependant on involvement of residents so much so that it will not be successful without their co-operation and involvement.”
Councillor Gerry Flynn, Cathaoirleach of the Planning & Housing SPC presented the awards for the Best Kept Local Authority Estates Competition.
Councillor Flynn 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 12th 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 Best Kept Local Authority Estates Competition was Connaught Road, Scariff which was awarded an engraved limestone plaque, a cheque to the value of €500 and the Mary Hennessy Memorial Award. Individual awards were also presented to Cluain Chormaic, Kildysart (Most Improved), St Joseph’s Road, Ballyvaughan and Station Road, Lahinch (Youth Involvement) and Clarisford, Killaloe (Best New Entrant).
Category 1 of the competition for estates comprising up to 30 houses was won by Lower Main St., Tulla, which finished ahead of St. Josephs Rd., Ballyvaughan (2nd) and Finnuremore Park, Mullagh (3rd). Creag Bhriain, Corofin, Bishop Murphy Park Parteen, Cluain Chormaic Kildysart, Smith Gardens, Kilkee, St. Michael’s Place, Kilmihil, Clarisford, Killaloe and Lackyle, Whitegate were ‘Highly 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 Millstream, Killaloe and Derryvinna, Clonlara (Joint 3rd). Clarehill, Clarecastle, Lus na Sí, Miltown Malbay and Toormore, Ruan were all ‘Highly Commended’.
Category 3 of the competition for estates comprising 50 or more houses was won by Marian Estate Kilkee. Ballard Road, Miltown Malbay finished in 2nd place ahead of Rooska, Lisdoonvarna and Cappa Lodge, Sixmilebridge Joint 3rd, while Church Drive/Aonach an Chlair Clarecastle was ‘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 Mayor’s Environmental Award was presented to Mountshannon Community Council, while Ballynacally Tidy Towns was named Overall Winner of Clare in Bloom 2014.
Councillor Joe Cooney, Cathaoirleach of the Environment & Transportation SPC presented the awards for the Clare in Bloom competition along with representatives from the competition sponsors ESB Moneypoint and Roche Ireland.
Kilrush Tidy Towns took 1st place in Category 1 of the competition while Quin and Newmarket-on-Fergus Tidy Towns secured 2nd and 3rd place respectively. St. Mary’s Community Development Lissycasey came 1st in Category 2, Kildysart Tidy Towns came 2nd and Tulla Tidy came 3rd. In Category 3, Tuamgraney Development Association was awarded 1st prize, 2nd prize went to Ruan Tidy Towns and Barefield Tidy Village were awarded 3rd prize.
‘Special Endeavour’ awards were also presented to Ballyvaughan Tidy Towns, Bodyke Community Association, Bridgetown Tidy Towns, Corofin Tidy Towns, Cooraclare Tidy Towns, Cranny Tidy Towns, Ennistymon Tidy Towns, Feakle Tidy Village, Kilmihil Tidy Towns, Kilmurry McMahon/Knock Community Group, Labasheeda Community Pride, Lisdoonvarna Community Co Ltd., Miltown Malbay Tidy Towns Committee, Mullagh Tidy Village, Primrose Gardens Residents Association, Scariff Community Council, Shannon Town and Whitegate Community Council.
Meanwhile, the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council presented four local groups with framed certificates for their commitment, effort and dedication to the enhancement of their communities as part of their participation in the IPB Pride of Place Competition 2014.
Clare’s participants in this year’s competition, Clarecastle Community Development Ltd., Clarisford Ltd., Lisdoonvarna Fáilte Ltd., and Tuamgraney Community Woodland will be hoping to emulate the success of other local community groups in previous years at the Pride of Place ceremony in Ennis on the 15th November, 2014. 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.
Further information relating to the Best Kept Local Authority Estates competition is available from the Estate Management Unit, Housing, Cultural & Emergency Services Directorate, Clare County Council, Tel No. 065 6846225/290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details on the Clare in Bloom Awards can be obtained from the Environment Section, Clare County Council Tel No 065 6846489, email /email@example.com.