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Four Clare communities to show Pride of Place on national stage

8 May 2018

The communities of Spanish Point, Kilkishen, Shannon and Quin will represent County Clare in the 2018 IPB Pride of Place Competition.

Clare County Council's Rural Development Directorate has nominated the four communities to take part in the annual all-island competition, which is run in association with Co-operation Ireland and local authorities North and South and aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society along with generating awareness, respect and inclusion for every facet of society.

Clare will be represented in (Population Category 3 – between 1,000 to 2,000) by Quin Village Tidy Towns which is established over 20 years and works collaboratively with multi-stakeholders, including Clare County Council, the National Monument Service, Inland Fisheries Ireland, the OPW, Quin NS, Active Retired, Men's Shed, ICA, landowners, local businesses and the local community to sustain and improve the village. Quin Village Tidy Towns has identified the covered river walkway adjacent to Quin Abbey as a potential significant amenity that would, once uncovered enhance our pride of place and provide a significant new community amenity for the local and visiting communities.

The County will be represented in (Population Category 5 – Population over 5,000) by Shannon Town in recognition of its many leisure, sporting, social and educational facilities built by an active, vibrant and engaged community. Shannon Leisure Centre is community owned and managed and has completed a major extension in recent years.  Wolfe Tones GAA Club has a floodlit astro turf and a refurbished and extended club house.  3 Soccer clubs and St. Senans RFC all have their own pitches.  Coiste Comoradh Éirí Amach 1916-2016 commissioned and erected 3 stone statues outside the Library to commemorate the 1916 Rising.  Dúchas na Sionna, Shannon Tidy Towns and Men’s Shed Group are collaborating to restore, preserve and enhance Hastings Farmhouse. A community garden has been created in the surrounding area with trees, raised vegetable beds and a polytunnel which is used for horticultural training for young adults.   This activity is linked to the upgraded River Loop Walk, the ongoing development of the Wetlands and the Town Park to deliver enhanced and accessible leisure, learning and historic amenities in Shannon.

Spanish Point is included in the Islands & Coastal Communities Category of the competition in recognition of the vibrant and industrious local community spearheaded by the Spanish Point Community Group, which prides itself in its tourism industry and historic background. Spanish Point Community Group was set up in 2015 to enhance the village for the benefit of all the community and visitors alike. Five leisure walks with 5 stones seats and information leaflets have been designed and named.  Six pieces of exercise equipment (two for people with special needs) are being installed at the seafront. A memorial stone picnic table was built to commemorate the wrecking of the Kelp ship in January 1916. Three Entrance stones have been placed at each entrance to the village with an engraved galleon and relevant history information displayed on each. A Famine Memorial Garden was designed in memory of all young boys and girls who died in the Atlantic Hotel (a famine workhouse) A Beach Clean Up and a General Clean Up are carried out each year. A Spanish Beach Barbeque is held each summer. Their project for 2018 is to install a galleon themed playcentre, two swings and a roundabout. The community group helped with refurbishment plans for the seafront facilities.

Meanwhile, the Castle Bog Walk project in Kilkishen features in the 'Community Wellbeing Initiative' category. The successful restoration of the derelict Church of Ireland building in Kilkishen resulted in renewed focus on the natural riches of the locality. Grant aid enabled the community to resurface an ancient bog road which had become neglected in recent years. Kilmurry Men's Shed provided seats, wildlife boxes and signage for this walk.

Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Tom McNamara, has congratulated the four local communities on their nomination and has expressed his hope that they will help Clare to maintain an impressive track record of success in the competition.

Mayor McNamara added that each of the nominees have demonstrated the positive benefits associated with people coming together for the benefit of their local community.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said the depth and breadth of voluntary activity underway across Clare has been “very evident in the applications received by Clare County Council for this year’s competition”.

“Voluntary groups across Clare have a long track record of delivering for their local community through collaboration with other stakeholders, including Clare County Council. I am confident the projects nominated this year will further add to Clare’s history of success in the competition,” he added.

Clare has enjoyed considerable success in Pride of Place during recent years with the villages of Cooraclare and Cree winning a ‘Special Award’ through CLG Cuan an Chláir’s Health & Wellbeing Team in last year’s competition. Previous successes include a first place award to 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.

Judging for Pride of Place 2018 takes place between June and August with winners, runners up and special award recipients receiving a trophy and a small monetary prize at the annual Pride of Place awards ceremony in Cork City Hall on 17 November 2018.

Page last updated: 08/05/18

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