Love Where You Live – Leitrim
The winners of the Love Where You Live – Leitrim – 2018 competition were announced last Wednesday. What a wonderful evening was had at Lough Rynn Castle, Mohill. The ceremonies and awards are co-hosted by Leitrim PPN and Leitrim County Council. It is a joint celebration of the voluntary and community work that takes place across the county to make Leitrim Lovely.
Nominations and Judging
Nominations were sought from all groups towards the end of March. Leitrim PPN sponsors the community awards so the judging for those was our responsibility. Both the PPN and Leitrim Council held judging days for all the categories over the months of May to September. These are hectic days with judges meeting all the candidates in a Municipal District. The judging for the environmental awards was undertaken by Éanna ní Leabhna while Leitrim PPN was assisted by our colleagues in Sligo PPN and Mayo PPN and RTÉ journalist and Leitrim woman, Carole Coleman.
Awards Night 2018
Lough Rynn Castle was magnificent in Autumn sunlight when the guests of honour, the community groups of Leitrim, arrived. The Ballroom was stylish and music from Ronnie Duignan serenaded us for a pre-event exhibition of photos from the judging. After introductions from Suzanne Duffy, Cathaoirleach, Cllr Sean McGowan, and Faciltator for Leitrim PPN, Philip Rooney, the awards got under way with the Schools Category Environmental awards. The award categories, all nominations and winners were announced by Éanna ní Leabhna and Marion Fitzgerald – well-loved presenter from Ocean FM. They provided both humour and glamour over the course of the evening. After the schools award and an Exceptional Recognition Award for Carrigallen Vocational School we were treated to entertainment from our own community – Carrick Millennium Choir.
The Choir provided a beautiful and rousing backdrop to the delicious food served up at Lough Rynn. After the meal the remaining awards were announced. All the winners are listed below.
The Awards were presented by Sean McGowan and Leitrim PPN Secretariat members –
- Philip Rooney (Facilitator 2018, Manorhamilton MD)
- Peadar Flynn (Carrick on Shannon MD)
- Francie Gilmartin (Ballinamore MD)
- Damien Hamill (Community & Voluntary)
- Michael McGovern (Community & Voluntary)
- Mary McKeirnan (Social Inclusion)
- Leslie O’Hora (Environmental)
Eileen Clinton and Tom O’Rourke – Social Inclusion and Environmental Reps in that order – were sadly unable to attend on the night.
Leitrim Public Participation Network would like to thank everyone who entered and joined us on the night of the awards. As was emphasised so many times on the evening, every single action we do for our communities is worth applauding. One group goes away with the prize in each area in each category, but every group that enters is a winner. Tracy Ferguson, Resource Worker for Leitrim PPN, closed the evening with this sentiment. We look forward to your entries in 2019!
Award Categories and Winners 2018
Awards were presented for each of the three Municipal Districts: Ballinamore, Carrick-on-Shannon and Manorhamilton. Each award has been announced in this order.
– recognises schools that encourage awareness of the natural environment and upkeep of their school surroundings.
- Drumeela National School
- St Manchan’s National School, Mohill
- Lough Allen College, Manorhamilton
An Exceptional Recognition Award was presented to the students and teachers of Rang A Carraig of Carrigallen Vocational School for their pride in everything they do and ability to face the future with ambition and excitement. Rang a Carraig entered under Social Inclusion.
Community Resource Award
– for buildings, spaces and groups providing best service to their community.
- Drumreilly Active Age
- Mohill Family Support Centre
- Tullaghan Development Association
– recognising outstanding presentation and green initiatives.
- The Old Rectory Guesthouse & Wedding Venue, Fenagh
- The Brandywell, Dromod
- The Stanford Inn & Village Tea Rooms, Dromahair
Social Inclusion Award
– these groups create opportunities for participation for all.
- Ballinamore Community Garden
- Breffni Community Development CLG, Carrick on Shannon
- Drumkeeran Friendship Club
Best Kept Estates Award
– encourages the enhancement of residential estates through voluntary community effort and green initiatives.
- Dún na Bó, Ballinamore
- The pump (Leitrim Village)
- Pairc An Mhuillain, Manorhamilton
The keeping of Estates is a huge collaborative and voluntary effort. With this in mind representatives from all housing estates that entered were awarded vouchers to purchase a native tree:
Community Resilience Award
– recognises the continued and ongoing work of groups whether long term or newly formed.
- Keeldra Lake Amenity Development Committee
- Leitrim International Community Group, Carrick on Shannon
- Kilty Live, Kiltyclogher
Cleaner and Greener Award
– recognises community use of environmentally friendly methods.
In recognition of the exceptional work carried out by groups and in honour of the 60th Anniversary of Tidy Towns, an additional award for special merit was issued in each Municipal District.
- Cloone Tidy Towns
- Dromod Tidy Towns
- Dromahair Development Association and Tidy Towns
Special Merit Awards were given to:
- Ballinamore Tidy Towns
- Carrick on Shannon Tidy Towns
- Drumkeerin Tidy Towns
Unsung Hero Award
– recognising outstanding individual contribution to a local community.
Every community has individuals who are boundless in their energy and determination to get things done. Sometimes these people are upfront and visibly leading. Others quietly and steadily keep going and join the photos reluctantly. Whatever their personal style, they make it look easy but it is not. They stay up late, leave their firesides on wet nights and encourage others when they could do with a pat on the back themselves. There are unsung heroes in all our communities.
- Lorna McCarthy of Keshcarrigan Development Association. Lorna works tirelessly for the upkeep of Keshcarrigan village. She does all the form–filling – a thankless task – and liaises with the community, workers and funding bodies to make sure the work gets done and the everything is in order, without any problems. She keeps everyone informed and does everything with ease and without complaint.
- Gabriel Cox of Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club. Gabriel is a well respected member of the rowing community in Carrick on Shannon, Connacht and Nationally. His vision and devotion over many years have brought success to the Club through floods, emigration and unemployment. The recent decision by Rowing Ireland to award the National Schools and Universities Championship to county Leitrim is testament to his quiet and unassuming work.
- Michael Lonican of Manorhamilton Tidy Towns Group. Another reluctant hero, Michael is well known in Manorhamilton for his work with Tidy Towns. While he has worked with the members to increase Manorhamilton’s scores each year, it is his other work, assisting offenders, his dedication to the principals of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, his leadership by example with community, businesses and schools, AND his many private acts of kindness that enhance the community of Manorhamilton in so many ways.
Congratulations again to all the nominees for the Love Where You Live Leitrim 2018 Awards.