Four Limerick groups nominated by Limerick City and County Council for this year’s Pride of Place competition

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Current Mayor of Limerick City and County Daniel Butler being helped into his chains by outgoing mayor Michael Collins in June 2021 after being unanimously elected by the 40 members of the Council. Pic. Brian Arthur

THE Irish Public Bodies (IPB) Pride of Place 2021 awards are presented in association with Co-operation Ireland. This year marks the 19th anniversary of the competition. This all-island competition is run in conjunction with local authorities north and south. It aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society along with generating awareness, respect and inclusion for every facet of society.

Pride of Place has enjoyed tremendous success and continues to grow in terms of prestige and popularity.

Traditionally each participating group holds a festival day showcasing its work and its impact on the community for the visiting judging panel. However, during 2020 and 2021, due to Covid restrictions, it was not possible to arrange visits to communities by the judges. While all judging took place virtually in 2020, a mix of virtual and face-to-face meetings with project promoters is the format adopted this year.

Limerick welcomed the judges on 30th August to meet with representatives of two of the projects: Woodlawn Park Residents Association and Draw Out Limerick. Judging of the Lough Gur Development Co-operative Society and Tournafulla Community Council projects took place via online meetings on 31st August.

Congratulating the four Limerick groups, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Daniel Butler said:These four groups are wonderful advertisements for the community spirit that exists across the city and county. The purpose of the competition is to acknowledge the work being done by communities all over the island of Ireland, recognising endeavours of local people to create civic pride and make their communities great places to live. I think these four Limerick projects demonstrate how people can come together to shape, change and improve the daily lives of people in their communities. They also demonstrate real partnership with the council and show that all sections of the community can be included.”

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Eileen Humphreys, Urban and Rural Community Development, Limerick City and County Council said: “We are delighted with our entrants to Pride of Place in 2021.  The efforts and actions of communities are particularly relevant taking into account the challenges that presented over the last 18 months with Covid 19. Each of the nominated projects shows tremendous community spirit, offering support to people in their communities that need it, bringing together different sections of the community including young and older people and taking innovative responses to maintain and grow their projects. Pride of Place is another opportunity to showcase the community spirit throughout the city and county. There is no doubt that the four groups nominated to Pride of Place this year will do  Limerick proud and I wish them the very best of luck.”

Limerick has an impressive track record in the competition: Limerick’s previous competition winners were: in 2020, Rathkeale Pre-Social Cohesion Project, First Place Winner in the 1,000 – 2,000 population category; 2019 Abbeyfeale Community Council, Runner-up in the 2,500-5,000 population category; in 2018, First Place Award, The Children’s Grief Centre under the Communities Reaching Out Initiative, along with Runners-Up awards for Limerick Civic Trust in the Creative Place Initiative and Kilmeedy in the 0-300 population category.

Among the other Limerick winners were: Broadford in the 0-300 population category in 2016, with Liskennett Farm receiving a Special Award.

Kilteely were the winners in the 0-300 population category in 2015, while Castleview Estate in Newcastle West won their category (Housing Estate) in 2013.

A Special Award was also received by CWell Kings Island in 2014.

The 2021 winners are expected to be announced at a ceremony either in Winter 2021 or early in 2022.