Banteer – Youghal – Rylane – Boherbue – Clonakilty all nominated for the Pride of Place Awards
Cork County Council has confirmed five community nominations for the 2023 IPB Pride of Place Awards, in association with Co-operation Ireland. Now in its 21st consecutive year, the Pride of Place Competition acknowledges the work being done every day by communities all over the island of Ireland.
The Cork County nominees are Banteer Community Group for “Community Well Being Initiative”, Youghal Tidy Towns for “Community Age Friendly Initiative”, Rylane Community Park Association in Category 2 (Population 500 – 1,500), Boherbue Tidy Towns in Category 1 (Population 0 -500) and Clonakilty Tidy Towns Committee for “Climate Action and Biodiversity”.
To date, projects valued over €7 million have been completed in Banteer with the support of the local Community Group, with sustainable development leading to employment for 42 people. Projects include the provision of a youth club, sport, arts and music facilities, social and recreational services, which includes a community wide defibrillator network. Fishing facilities, walkways and wildlife protection along the Glen River, as well as the restoration of local heritage sites have greatly enhanced the community. Current projects are focused on reducing energy consumption in all community run facilities.
In 2020, Cork County Council partnered with Youghal Tidy Towns and Tesco Ireland Ltd. to develop a community garden in the grounds of the old Bridewell Gaol in Youghal. The Tidy Towns group have since transformed the space into a beautiful walled garden and urban orchard with seating, a gazebo and eight raised beds for planting vegetables all year round. The garden also hosts coffee mornings, meditation, yoga and summer performances. ‘Le Cheile Community Garden’ was designed specifically for active retirement groups, men’s sheds groups and any vulnerable members of the local community.
Rylane Community Park Association was set up in 2016 to develop a Community Park in the village. The group decided to set up a community space to benefit all members of the community. To date, fund raising activities have included a weekly lotto, raffles, fun days, fun run and walk, vintage runs and choral evenings. With monies raised and grants received, €165,000 in funding has been secured. Phase One of the project, a multi-sport pitch has been completed and played host to its first match in May 2022. Phase 2 is due to begin in late 2023 and will include a new playground.
Each spring Boherbue Tidy Towns rally together to ensure the village and approach roads are neat and tidy. Biodiversity and sustainability have become the focus of new projects for the group. A biodiversity garden was constructed and developed as well as ten other gardens within the village. The centre island was redeveloped and the appearance of disused buildings in the town were improved. Projects have been supported by local landowners, Cork County Council, IRD Duhallow and the local Dairy Co-operative. The group is in the process of planning several new projects to further enhance the village into the future.
Following a kind donation of a 2-acre plot of land to Clonakilty Tidy Towns Committee, work began in July 2020 to transform the disused piece of land near Clonakilty town centre into a biodiversity oasis and community space. Committee volunteers, local community employment workers and the public collaborated to design a garden with raised vegetable and fruit beds, a pond, stone wall and a willow dome, all sympathetic to their riverside environs. A steel gazebo was installed and has been used to host local bands, musicians and acts as they entertain the public. The new park is dotted with seating, kindly sponsored by local families and dedicated to remember their loved ones, while story boards inform passers-by of the significance and history of the ‘Mill Field’ that they’re now enjoying.
North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea said, “I am delighted to see five exceptional community nominations from Cork County for this year’s Pride of Place Awards, especially the communities in Banteer & Boherbue in my own area of North Cork. This prestigious competition recognizes the remarkable efforts and dedication of communities across Ireland. Our nominees showcase just some of the many diverse initiatives undertaken by communities the length and breadth of the county to support well-being, age-friendliness, climate action and biodiversity. I commend the tireless work of each of the nominated groups and wish them the best as they welcome the judges during the summer months.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, “The IPB Pride of Place Awards highlight the remarkable contributions made by communities and Cork County Council is thrilled to confirm the five outstanding nominations representing our county. The commendable efforts of these community groups in Banteer, Youghal, Rylane, Boherbue and Clonakilty demonstrate the dedication and commitment of Cork County’s residents to improving their local areas.”
Judges will visit communities during July and August before the announcement of winners at the IPB Pride of Place Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony 2023 in Armagh on the 10th of November.