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Success for County Kildare at the 2016 Pride of Place Awards Ceremony

At the annual Pride of Place Awards Ceremony on Saturday (26 November), McAuley Place, Naas, Co Kildare was presented with one of the top awards in the Competition. It took top place in category six, which is for Age Friendly Community Initiatives.

Remarking on McAuley Place, the judges said “This is a unique and heart-warming entry in the Age Friendly category. What has been created here in this non-profit organisation is an intergenerational and creative model of living for older people. Consisting of apartments, a community centre, an arts and cultural centre, a profit making tea room and a volunteer hub, it promotes a lifestyle for the elderly that is truly inclusive within the locality”.

The winners of the Pride of Place awards, known affectionately by many as the ‘Community Oscars’, were announced at the special gala event in Belfast Waterfront Hall in front of an audience of approximately 1000 guests and VIPs with many more people tuning in on-line to watch the live broadcast of the ceremony.

 Now in its 14th year, the all-island Pride of Place Awards promotes and celebrates the best in community development and recognises the selfless efforts of people in making their neighbourhoods better places to live, work and socialise. This year, a broad spectrum of groups were nominated, ranging from small rural communities to inner city housing estates.

 The Pride of Place Awards are divided into three awards sections – the main, the cities and the special awards and during the evening a total of 53 awards were announced by TV personality Claire McCollum. The awards ceremony was hosted by Belfast City Council, with the Belfast School of Music, Streetwise Community Circus, Belfast Community Gospel Choir and The James Peak Experience providing the entertainment.

 The winners were presented with their awards by Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Brian Kingston, Councillor Matt Garrett, Chairperson of Belfast City Council’s People and Communities Committee, Dr. Christopher Moran, Chairman Co-operation Ireland, Tom Dowling Chairman of the Pride of Place Committee and George Jones, Chairman of IPB, the event sponsors.

 Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston said: “We were honoured to host this prestigious ceremony and to welcome friends and colleagues from across the island of Ireland to Belfast to celebrate the important work being done, much of it by dedicated volunteers, to improve quality of life in our cities, towns and villages and to create vibrant, supportive communities. I’d like to offer my congratulations to all the Pride of Place winners and nominees alike – you’re truly inspirational people and set a great example for others to follow.”

 Tom Dowling, founder of the event and Chair of the Pride of Place Committee congratulated all the groups. He said: “Each year the competition continues to grow with communities nominated by Local Authorities all over Ireland, demonstrating their pride in their place to our judges.”

 Speaking at the ceremony, George Jones, Chairman of IPB insurance said:

“As a mutual insurer we share in the ethos of collaboration. Which embodies the very spirit of Pride of Place. Everyone nominated tonight is clear proof of the power of the collective and what can be done when people work together to achieve a common goal. It is truly humbling to be n the company of so many people who give freely of their time to make their communities a better place, a place which you can be proud to call your home.”

 Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive Co-operation Ireland said:

“The Pride of Place Competition was set up 14 years ago to recognise for the outstanding contribution people make to society. It gives local authorities a platform to acknowledge the work local groups in there are doing and each year practically every local authority on the island nominates groups who they see as doing exceptional work in their area.

 “For Co-operation Ireland, this competition is an opportunity to bring people together and share ideas and best practice. Tonight we see at firsthand how people can make a real positive change to society.

I congratulate all the winners but also the winners. everyone nominated but especially all the winners.

 “Co-operation Ireland would not be able to run such a substantial competition without the support of our sponsors IPB, our judging panel, the Pride of Place Committee and everyone who works to make it a success. I would like Belfast City Council for hosting this wonderful awards ceremony and giving us the opportunity to celebrate each other’s achievements.”

 Junior Minister, Megan Fearon said:“It’s an honour to attend tonight’s Pride of Place Awards and recognise the great work community groups and volunteers are doing in their areas to make them better places to live, work and socialise. At the heart of these awards, is local people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good in their neighbourhood, whether it be a town, village or city.

 “Working together is key and tonight has recognised very deserving winners but also highlighted the wonderful work of many more community groups and individuals across Ireland who are all playing a very important part in improving their communities.

 “Collaborative working resonates with our aims for the Executive’s Program for Government. We will work together with organisations and individuals in the true spirit of partnership to make real, meaningful societal changes for the better.“This event shows what brilliant results can be achieved with hard work, imagination and by working together, and I very much hope it inspires others to get involved in their own areas to help make a positive difference.”

 The Winners of the awards are:


Main Competition


Category 1 – Population –Up to300

      Runner Up – Rathdangan Community Council, Co Wicklow

      Runner Up – Rosemont Development Association, Co Westmeath

      Winner – Broadford Development Association, Co Limerick


Category 2 – Population 300-1000

      Runner Up – Carlanstown Kilbeg Community Development Ltd, Co Meath

      Runner Up – Stoneyford Development Association, Co Kilkenny

      Winner – Clonbur Community Council, Co Galway


Category 3 – Population 1,000-2,000

      Runner Up – Lús na Gréine, Co Longford

      Runner Up – Tubbercurry, Co Sligo

      Winner – Borris Tidy Towns, Co Carlow


Category 4 – Population 2,000-5,000

      Runner Up – Breffni Family Resource Centre,Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim

      Runner Up – Keady Community, Cultural and Festival Group, Co Armagh

      Winner – Moate Action Group, Co Westmeath


Category 5 Population Over 5,000

      Runner Up – Donabate and Portrane Pride of Place, Fingal, Co Dublin

      Winner –Douglas Community Association, Co Cork


Category 6 – Age Friendly Community Initiative

      Runner Up – Positive Age Cavan, Co Cavan

      Runner Up – Rural Mens Project, Co Kerry

      Winner – McAuley Place, Naas, Co Kildare


Category 7 – Community Social Enterprise

      Runner Up – Hope Cancer Support Centre, Co Wexford

      Runner Up – TIDAL, Co Antrim

      Winner – Meath River Rescue, Co Meath


Category 7 – Community Business Enterprise Initiative

      Runner Up – Drumshambo Community Council, Co Leitrim

      Runner Up – Piltown Community Enterprise, Co Kilkenny

      Winner – Ferbane Food Campus, Co Offaly


Category 8 – Communities Reaching out Initiative

      Runner Up – Ballyhaunis GAA Club, Co Mayo

      Runner Up – Richmount Rural Community Association, Portadown Co Armagh

      Runner Up – Roscommon Solstice Choir, Co Roscommon

      Winner – Integration & Support Unit, Waterford City,Co Waterford


Category 9 - Housing Estates Category

      Runner Up – Rathdrum Residents Association, Co Cavan

      Winner – Three Drives Family Resource Centre, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary


Category 10 – Islands and Coastal Communities

      Runner Up – Rams Island Heritage Project, Toombridge Co Antrim

      Winner – Clogherhead Development Group, Co Louth


Category 11 – Urban Neighbourhoods

      Runner Up - Ballyogan Estate Management Forum, Dun Laoighaire

      Winner –Dominic’s Community Centre, Tallaght


Cities Competition


Category 1 – Neighbourhoods Under 1,000

      Runner Up – Victorian Quarter Residents and Traders, Cork City

      Winner – Glór na Móna, Belfast


Category 2 – Neighbourhoods 1,000-2,000

      Runner Up – Gurranabraher – The Hut and Partners, Cork City

      Winner – Stoneybatter Heritage Village, Dublin


Category 3 – Neighbourhoods Over 2,000

      Runner Up – Magnet Young Adult Centre, Newry

      Winner – East Belfast Community Development Agency, Belfast


Category 4 – Age Friendly Community Initiative

      Runner Up – Santry Community Association Ltd, Dublin

      Winner – Mahon CDP Agelink, Cork


Category 5 –Community Enterprise Initiative

      Runner Up – WALK, Dublin

       Winner –Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, Derry


Category 6 – Community Arts Initiative

      Runner Up – Ranelagh Arts Centre, Dublin

      Runner Up – Waterford Youth Arts, Waterford

      Winner – Blue Teapot Theatre Company, Galway


Special Awards


Cities Competition

      Play Resource Warehouse, Belfast

      Saol Café, Galway


Main Competition


      Liskennett Farm – St Joseph’s Foundation, Granagh Co. Limerick

      Mulhuddart Motocross Project, Fingal Co Dublin

      Trinity Arts Project, Castlerea, Co Roscommon

      Wexford Marine Watch


Special Council Award

      Dublin City Council

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