Limerick communities clean up at Going for Gold Awards

Limerick Going for Gold overall winners Kilfinane Tidy Towns were presented with their €10,000 prize by Mayor Gerald Mitchell. Photo: Brian Arthur.

LIMERICK groups who live to look after their local communities were given the gold star treatment last night (Wednesday October 25) at the annual Going for Gold grand final.

Overall winners on the night, who took home the grand prize of €10,000, were an overjoyed and well deserving Kilfinane, who were celebrated for their year-round hard work in making their community a cleaner, brighter place to work, live, and visit.

Limerick Going for Gold, sponsored by the JP McManus Charitable Foundation, is an annual competition that aims to celebrate and encourage those who take pains to take care of their communities and local environs, from Tidy Towns groups and residents associations to smaller groups and passionate individuals.

More than €60,000 was awarded across seven categories in what represents the 11th anniversary of the competition since its foundation in 2012.

A total of 13 communities were celebrated at the grand final on Wednesday evening in front of hundreds of joyful attendees at Limerick’s Strand Hotel.

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Five of the finalists were selected by popular vote on Live 95’s Limerick Today show, with the others selected by judges Pat Shearin and Michael Griffin, following visits to each area.

Limerick Going for Gold 2023 Residential Areas category winners Pallasgreen with Mayor Gerald Mitchell and Gerry Boland of the JP McManus Charitable Foundation. Photo: Brian Arthur.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor Gerald Mitchell told nominees: “It is a credit to you all how communities can come together and transform their areas. Everyone working together, sharing a common purpose.”

Gerry Boland, of the sponsoring JP McManus Charitable Foundation, added: “It is very satisfying to reach the conclusion of another successful Going for Gold campaign. Going for Gold involves so many people in our communities throughout our city and county, and the improvements which they have effected in their local areas are much appreciated and contribute enormously to the quality of the environment in which we live.”

Lauding each participating group and individual, Limerick City and County Council senior executive officer Seamus O’Connor said the annual competition “brings together the efforts and endeavours of communities and I want to thank the entrants for their hard work and commitment as without it we wouldn’t be able to have an event such as this.”

Mr O’Connor reminded nominees and winners alike of the old adage: “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless but because they’re priceless.”

Kilfinane were named overall winners of the Tidy Towns category on the night, taking home the €10,000 grand prize. Askeaton were runners up, with a prize fund of €7,000, followed by Bruff (€5,000) coming in third.

Kilmeedy took home the €5,000 prize as winners of the Limerick Bee Friendly in Bloom category, with Ardpatrick and Meadowbrook coming in second and third respectively.

In the Residential Areas category, Pallasgreen took home the gold, followed by Woodlawn Park and Thomondgate.

Glenroe took home the Endeavor Award, and a €2,000 prize, having inspired judges with their 17-mark score improvement at this year’s Tidy Towns awards.

Going for Gold 2023 winners of the Bee Friendly in Bloom category Kilmeedy with Mayor Gerald Mitchell and Gerry Boland of JP McManus Charitable Foundation. Photo: Brian Arthur.

The ReUse award went to Tait House Community Enterprise in Southill for its ‘ReLove Paint’ project, with Castleconnell Tidy Towns and Limerick Gateway to Education coming in as runners up.

Judge’s Choice awards went to Castleconnell, Garryowen, Knocklong, Newcastle West, and Kings Island Community Allotments – who were commended for their work in getting young people in the community involved.

Awards for Best Front Garden went to John Nash Charity (Henry Street), Anne Lynch (Murroe), and Benn and Anne O’Sullivan (Kilmallock).

The Limerick Going for Gold competition is sponsored each year by the JP McManus Charitable Foundation and organised by Limerick City and County Council, with the support of the Limerick Post, Live 95, the Limerick Leader, ILoveLimerick, the Parkway Shopping Centre, and Southern Marketing Media and Design.