‘Louth and Proud’ was the motto all the way when the ‘Pride of Place’ judges came to visit on 16th August 2017.
The competition, organised by Co-operation Ireland, and sponsored by IPB Insurance, serves to recognise and acknowledge exceptional community spirit around the island of Ireland. Nowhere was this community spirit more evident, than in the four centres nominated by Louth County Council for these awards this year.
Finally, it was off to the south of the county, where the judges had the pleasure of meeting the residents of Moneymore. A warm welcome awaited their arrival at Community House, where they were greeted by the Chairperson, Marie Russell, and indeed all the groups associated with the estate. The original home of the ‘Friday-morning Drop-in Crèche’ over 31 years ago, and now the base for the ‘After School Club’, this house has been a hive of activity over many years and indeed remains so today. Deputy Fergus O’ Dowd TD expressed his admiration for the leading lights in this community, who have worked so tirelessly since 1986 to ensure that this provided a meeting place for all the residents of Moneymore, a place where they could come together and foster the strong sense of community that exists here today. Deputy Imelda Munster TD was also in awe of the many projects and initiatives that the residents of Moneymore have cultivated and the strong sense of pride in their community which was certainly palpable on the day. Cllr. Tommy Byrne, and his daughter Mary, who has fundraised for many charities in the area in recent years, also lent their support on the day. The Moneymore Creche, ably managed by Tina Kearney, gave the judges a great understanding of the humble origins of the project back in 1986, to become the fine facility that it is today, with the parents attesting to the huge impact this resource has had on their lives. The CABLE project, coordinated by Allen O Donoghue, is another such fine example of what can be achieved and the judges were very impressed with this vital Garda Diversion Project. Connect FRC was another stop along the route. With a goal to combat disadvantage, and improve the function of the family unit, the coordinator Mairead Davis, impressed the judges with all the various activities going on in the centre, none of which could be achieved without the help of the local volunteers. But it was the huge turnout in the marquee on the green, which got the celebrations in full swing, and left the judges in no doubt that pride and community spirit is alive and well in this inspirational part of Drogheda. What a wonderful send off for the judges, as they left the shores of Louth for another year, suitably impressed, inspired and humbled, having experienced only the best of pride in our county!
It is wonderful to get the opportunity to showcase all that Co Louth has to offer and hopefully their efforts will be suitably rewarded at the awards ceremony in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny on Saturday 2nd December 2017.