The annual competition, which is run in conjunction with local authorities north and south of the border, aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that community groups make to society. Last year, the Cloughleigh Rapid Pitch scheme in Ennis was successful in the ‘Single Issue Project’ Category for what judges described as making a valuable contribution to improving community life.
The structure of this year’s contest has been altered to include designated themes under the single-issue category, including ‘Social Care – Services for the Elderly’, ‘Community Facility’ (Built Facility, Community driven), and ‘Care of the Environment’ (with emphasis on innovation and sustainability).
‘Pride of Place’, first piloted in the summer of 2003, came from the Local Authority All-Island Steering Forum - a forum that encourages strategic, sustainable approaches to cross border co-operation. Since 2003, communities all over Clare have taken part including Kilrush, Kilkee, Ennis, Labasheeda, Shannon, Sixmilebridge, Ballynacally, Scariff, and O’Briensbridge/Montpelier. Clare County Council last year nominated the Michael Cusack Centre in Carron, the community of Kilmihil and the Cloughleigh Rapid Pitch to participate in the awards scheme.
According to Cllr. Tommy Brennan, Chairperson of the Environment, Emergency Services & Consumer Protection Strategic Policy Committee, “This competition focuses on local communities all over the island of Ireland coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their area. Groups have the opportunity to network, exchange ideas and learn from others and further promote their activities.”
Ms. Nicola Cullinan, Pride of Place Co-Coordinator explained that the competition offered communities the opportunity to showcase the positive contribution that local groups make to the overall enhancement of their localities.
She continued, “This year, we are hoping to receive expressions of interest from towns and villages the length and breadth of County Clare. Once all submissions have been received and adjudicated upon, Clare County Council will proceed to nominate the selected entrants to participate in the competition.”
Each Local Authority can nominate up to five towns in the population-based categories, of which there are six. Category 1 caters for villages of up to 200 people, category 2 is for population centres of 200-500 people, category 3 features towns and villages with a population of between 500-1000 people, category 4 is for centres of between 1000-2000 people, category 5 includes centres of between 2000-5000 people, and category 6 caters for towns and cities with a population in excess of 5,000.
Meanwhile, ‘Pride of Place 2008’ features a separate category entitled ‘Single Issue Project’, which will be judged with reference to innovation, funding arrangements, local leadership, management, sustainability and impact on the community.
One group only, per population category, may be entered by Clare County Council, but multiple entries are allowed in the ‘single issue’ category, providing the total number nominated in all categories does not exceed five. Judging for ‘Pride of Place 2008’ will take place between June and July. Community group winners, runners up and special award recipients receive a crystal trophy and small monetary prize at a special awards ceremony.
Community groups interested in being considered for nomination are asked to submit written expressions of interest, detailing their preferred Category number to: Nicola Cullinan, Pride of Place Coordinator, Environment & Emergency Services Directorate, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis, Co Clare. Expressions of interest should be submitted by Friday 28th March 2008 to allow time for internal judging procedure. Clare County Council will announce the successful nominees by 11th April 2008.
For further information on ‘Pride of Place 2008’, please contact Nicola Cullinan, Pride of Place Co-Coordinator, Clare County Council at 065-6846496 or Orla Doolaghty, Environment & Emergency Services, Clare County Council at 065–6846281.
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Founded in 2006, Dunphy Public Relations is a communications group led by Mark Dunphy from County Clare. Mr. Dunphy previously held the position of ‘Head of News and Current Affairs’ in Clare FM Radio.
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