Louth won two national awards at the IPB Pride of Place gala awards ceremony in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal on Saturday 2nd December. These awards, which are organised by Co-operation Ireland acknowledge the achievements and invaluable work undertaken by volunteers and those involved in local community development, in association with their local county council.
Dunleer were announced as the runners-up in the population category of 2000-5000, one of the most hotly contested categories in the competition. Narrowly pipped at the post by Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork, the judges described Dunleer as a thriving community, which displays a strong culture of volunteerism and has responded positively to the challenges presented by their development from a rural town to an expanding commuter corridor over the last number of years. The cooperation between all the stakeholders, including the local authority, has been a pivotal part of this success. With projects such as the ‘Better Energy Community’ this progressive, forward-thinking town is a valuable mentor for other communities nationwide.
The Maria Goretti Foundation was the overall national winner in the ‘Community Reaching Out’ category, a fantastic accolade for such an outstanding initiative. In their citation, the judges said that, ‘On the day of the visit, they were greatly impressed by the turn out of elected members, business people, parents, children and local community. It was a joy to be with the enthusiastic, highly professional and competent staff. They commended this community driven initiative, which gives invaluable respite care for children with disabilities and life limiting conditions and commented that the service is delivered with dignity, care and dedication’.
The Chief Executive of Louth County Council, Ms. Joan Martin, who was in attendance on the night, congratulated all the participants on their success. “In addition to Moneymore in Drogheda, and Dee Hub in Ardee, who did Louth proud in the ‘Housing Estates’ and ‘Community Based Youth Initiatives’, respectively, it is wonderful to see those who work so hard, and who develop such exceptional initiatives in their local communities, get the recognition they deserve. A national accolade such as this is no mean feat and I applaud you all”.
The Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Cllr. Colm Markey, also expressed his delight at the win. “Having visited the locations with the judges during the adjudication, I was overwhelmed by the commitment and dedication of all the groups involved and I am delighted to see this recognition through the IPB Pride of Place Awards for Louth”.