Offaly based community groups were among those honoured at the annual IPB Pride of Place awards held on Cork City Hall on Saturday evening last.
Moneygall Development Association were crowned overall winners in the Community Tourism Category. Accepting the award, Chairperson Henry Healy, stated “Moneygall has worked hard to create an exciting tourist destination and this award is recognition of the pride we have in our community”.
The judges citation for Moneygall stated: “The judges were warmly welcomed to this now major tourist attraction of both national and international significance. Since the visit of an internationally renowned figure in 2011, the community have also recognised the importance and benefits of developing the rich heritage and genealogy of the area.
“This was demonstrated to the judges by two Skype calls to families in the UK and the USA who can now trace their ancestors to the area thanks to the work of the local community. The far-reaching vision is also illustrated in the development of the impressive local bio farm which has established links with Colleges and Schools across Europe and locally. This community created initiatives that will ensure a continuing flow of visitors to the area for many years to come.”
Representing County Offaly with great distinction in the IPB Pride of Place Awards were Clonbullogue Development Association, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland Mount Bolus and Moneygall Development Association.
Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Cllr Danny Owens congratulated the three participants in this year's Pride of Place, stating: “The purpose of this initiative is to acknowledge the commitment and hard work being done by all of you and to celebrate with you your contribution to the enhancement of your community and environment and the creation of civic pride”.
In all 800 community heroes from across the country attended last Saturday’s IPB Pride of Place Awards at Cork City Hall. The annual competition, described as the ‘Oscars of the Community Sector’, celebrates the often unsung work of community groups that selflessly work to make local neighbourhoods a better place to live in, work in or visit. Organised by Co-Operation Ireland and sponsored by IPB Insurance, the Pride of Place awards sees the country’s local authorities, on both sides of the border, nominate outstanding projects that contribute to civic pride.
A fantastic evening for County Offaly and one that will be savoured long into the future especially in Moneygall.