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Judging underway in Bunratty & Ennis

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Nerves are kicking in for the communities of Bunratty and Ennis with adjudicating underway today (Tuesday) for the 2019 IPB Pride of Place competition.

Two separate projects have been nominated by the Rural Development Directorate of Clare County Council to participate in the annual all-island competition, which is run by Co-operation Ireland and aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society. Ennis Town is being judged in the morning with Bunratty Village assessed in the afternoon.

Bunratty Local Development Association has been nominated in the Community Tourism Initiative category. Formed five years ago, the Association’s activities are focused on regenerating the heart of the village through restoration works, landscaping and maintaining the village to the highest possible standard. Among the projects undertaken to date By local volunteers is the restoration of monuments, planting, landscaping, two new heritage style bus shelters in village centre, using local skills and labour and a new gateway to the graveyard and old mediaeval church – which is the oldest building in Bunratty.

Ennis Tidy Towns has been nominated to participate in Category 5, for towns with a population of over 5,000 people.  Now one the longest serving Tidy Towns groups in the country, the group has for 30 years championed community-led projects which foster a sense of place, promote engagement, all of which makes Ennis a wonderful place to live, work and visit. Current activities include community arts initiatives, clean-ups, climate change campaigns, sustainability and waste management projects and enhancing local green spaces for pollinators and biodiversity.

Mayor of Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe commented, “Clare has a wonderful record of success in this competition and with the support of Clare County Council, the communities of Ennis and Bunratty will be in a position to put their best foot forward when the adjudicators meet them and review their projects.”

Nicola Killeen, Pride of Place Co-Coordinator, said, “During recent weeks, Clare County Council has been assisting the participating projects with their preparations. Judging day is a special occasion and represents an ideal opportunity for the people of Ennis and Bunratty to show pride in their respective areas by supporting organised events.”

Clare has enjoyed considerable success in the competition during recent years with Shannon being named overall winner of Category 5 for population centres of over 5,000 people in 2018.  Previous successes include a ‘Special Award for the villages of Cooraclare and Cree in 2017, a first place award for Doonbeg Community Development in 2015, Killaloe and Tuamgraney’s Runner-Up finishes in 2014 and Miltown Malbay’s first place award in 2013. Clare County Council also won a special award in 2014 for its contribution to the competition since it was first established in 2003.

Pride of Place 2019 winners, runners up and special award recipients will receive a trophy and a small monetary prize at an awards ceremony on 30th November in the Lyrath Estate Hotel, Kilkenny.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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