Popular Kilkenny attraction takes top prize at Ireland’s ‘community Oscars’
One of Kilkenny’s most popular tourist attraction took a top prize in the All-Ireland Pride of Place community awards. And Kilkenny County Council was also honoured at the online event hosted by RTÉ’s Marty Morrissey over the weekend.
Over 6,000 people logged in to view Saturday night’s ‘community Oscars’.
The Discovery Park took top spot in the Community Tourism category, with judges praising them the venue for delivering a “tourism enterprise par excellence”.
The judges added: “Castlecomer Discovery Park was set up to bring renewed economic activity to a town and create much needed jobs.
“This has been achieved conclusively and the enterprise has proven a major catalyst for other spin-off projects in the town. There are exciting developments planned for the future.”
Callan Town Team came runners-up in the areas with a population between 2,000 and 5,000 category to Skibbereen, as did Clogh Community Group in the population between 300 and 1000 category to Belcarra in county Mayo. Ferrybank Allotment also received a nomination this year.
Kilkenny County Council claimed the Council Community Engagement Award for their ongoing work on community engagement.
The judges said of the local authority: “This council was a very successful host of these awards in recent years and continues to nominate year after year, fantastic, well presented and well- prepared entrants to the competition.
“Through strong community engagement this Council presents well prepared groups who in turn make a great impression on the judges with their positive partnership approach to working with the council.”
The leader of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Andrew McGuinness, said: “Kilkenny has a strong history of communities coming together to accomplish major achievements and it is because of this history that Kilkenny communities have been so successful over the years in the Pride of Place Competition.
“I congratulate all our 2020 groups on their success this year. To all Community Groups all over the country in every city, town, village and parish, you are to be commended for continuing to work together to increase people’s pride in where they live and in turn help to build vibrant communities.”
President Michael D. Higgins, who is Joint Patron of Co-operation Ireland with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, said the awards played an important role in society.
“The Pride of Place awards are a most important initiative, reminding us that creating societies that are ethical and inclusive is a task for all of our citizens, of all ages and circumstances,” President Higgins added.