Donegal took three of the top prizes in the annual IPB All-Island Pride of Place Awards announced at a packed gala ceremony in The Venue, Derry on Saturday.
Clogher le Chéile received the top award in Category 1 which is for a place with a population of less than 200 people. Insight Inishowen also received a special award, while Comharchumann Árainn Mhór was runner-up in the Islands category. Donegal County Council also scooped the award for top local authority.
Speaking about Clogher le Chéile, the judges described their visit to the small community as wonderful, inspiring and humbling. “Following an excellent presentation, the judges soon became aware of an exceptional and inclusive approach, which was particularly evident in the writing of a remarkable book about the place in question. This community has every right to be proud of itself and its achievements from the reviving of traditions to the care of the natural and built environment. The judges will remember fondly ‘The Stony Place’ for a long time.”
Insight Inishowen received a Special Award for building of community resilience through positive measures by a group of dedicated and committed volunteers. The judges described their visit as welcoming, stimulating, entertaining and heart-warming, a joy in which to be involved. “The project is all about feeling good and its impact is making a huge difference to the wellbeing of an entire community. This is attitude of mind writ large and is adding value to people who need support, guidance and positivity in their lives. As it evolves, the judges are convinced that it is an ideal model of hope to roll out to other communities.”
Of Donegal County Council, the judges remarked “The staff of the community department in this County Council have been developing and promoting pride in their communities for a long time. This council has consistently nominated excellent communities to the competition since it started eleven years ago and the judges, for their part, enjoy meeting the well prepared andm otivated communities in the county every year.”
Minister Phil Hogan TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, joined deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA, Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly Derry City Council, Co-operation Ireland Chairman Christopher Moran, Pride of Place Committee Chairman Tom Dowling and Chairman of IPB George Jones, sponsors of the event to present the group with their award.