The Pride of Place Competition 2019

Posted in Connect on July 8, 2019.

The Pride of Place competition is in its 17th year. It is a key community initiative of Co-operation Ireland working along with local authorities. The purpose of the competition is to acknowledge the work being done every day by communities all over the island of Island,

Founder of the Pride of Place initiative, Tom Dowling, describes the competition as being about showing respect and inclusion for every sector in our communities, young, old, rich or poor and creating communities to which the people are proud to say they belong. In the last eight years IPB Insurance has been the title sponsors

Straide Community (populations of less that 1,000)

Straide is a small rural community of less than 300 houses, home to a growing population of under 1,000.  It is centrally located within the county between Ballyvarry and Foxford bounded by the N5 and the N59.  In the Mayo County Council supported Community Futures Development plan for the area, the community identified the renovation of the hall and the creation of a fit for purpose community facility as central to its vision to create from which to create an inclusive, friendly, active and vibrant place to live for the whole community.

For the last two years the community has worked hard to complete the refurbishment of  Straide Davitt Community Hall, which will open its doors at the end of July 2019. With a beautiful fit for purpose hall the opportunity exists to build on the many events and activities that bring people together and to share interests and ideas A hall with community events ensures we are not isolated in our community, that we have opportunities for creativity, fun and sport and support for each other in times of need.

Another significant investment project, which saw huge engagement with agencies and communities proudly saw the opening of the East Mayo Anglers Association disabled Anglers Facility on the River Moy.  Straide was selected as the appropriate site as it provides access to a range of different types of fishing and is a great fishing location. East Mayo Anglers wanted to ensure that disabled anglers had access to some of the best fishing available. The plans were drawn and submitted to Mayo County Council. Conservation planning and sustainability efforts have catered for habitats for a number of species such as salmon, otter, and lamprey. Increasingly the community is responding to the need for pollinators with the growth of beautiful flowers in the area.

Straide village is second to none in its care of its built heritage. From the lovely old hump backed Straide Bridge, to the 12th to 15th Century Straide Abbey, to the historic early 19th century old cruciform church, now home to the Michael Davitt Museum  and further down to the 12th century Norman Castle built at the Ford of the Moy at Ballylahan, Straide’s built heritage is a joy and magnificently cared for.

Ballinrobe Community

As the oldest town in the county, Ballinrobe is fortunate to have a rich heritage, including the Bower’s Walk, former military barracks, court house and church sites.  Today, Ballinrobe is a bastion of defiance in a new Ireland, a town that has embraced challenges and constantly evolved from generation to generation. The fuel to its recent resurgence has come from the community, tradesmen, business owners, entrepreneurs and many other skilled and creative people.

The Pride of Place award nomination was born out of our “Believe in Ballinrobe” civic pride initiative. A simple idea born from the realisation that just underneath the surface there was a burning desire for the town to succeed and a simple solution to just stop and take note of what is actually already happening: a multitude of clubs, schools and societies all working away throughout the year to ensure that Ballinrobe is still this fantastic place, to trade and socialise.  The Believe in Ballinrobe campaign (#BelieveInBallinrobe) pairs people’s passions and skill sets to community initiatives and organisations in order to create beneficial projects and events to enhance the overall liveability and prosperity of the area.  #BelieveInBallinrobe is a call to action, to the people, groups and organisations connected to the town, to become advocates, champions and ambassadors of Ballinrobe. #BelieveInBallinrobe campaign as a vision, for the whole town to unite behind and work towards common aspirational goals for the future prosperity of Ballinrobe.

Examples of community activities in Ballinrobe:

  • The Maple Youth Centre work in partnership with local young people, to develop programmes and activities that are fully young person centred. They believe that every young person has a right to equality of opportunity and outcome and their work focuses on facilitating them to cast off limitations caused by disadvantage, to become their best and, ultimately, realise their dreams and goals. Their ideology is to empower the youth of Ballinrobe and surrounding areas. They are at the forefront of modern Ballinrobe and are a shining light of inclusivity in our community.  2018 saw the formation of the first youth LGBTI+ Group in Ballinrobe.  And in 2019, Nikita Maughan was the overall winner of the National Traveller Pride Youth Awards.
  • GlebeFest will be the first of many street festivals held in Ballinrobe on July 6th, 2019, the latest idea that was born out of the #BelieveinBallinrobe Campaign. After initial ideas involved around relaunching or “rebooting” Ballinrobe, the novel idea of having a relaunch festival for each individual street in the town was thought up. Each business will join forces with others on their street and host festival or party that reflects the businesses they operate – and they are encouraged to invite all the groups, clubs and performers that they sponsor all year round to come and help them organize and highlight the party.
  • Sport plays a huge role in the Ballinrobe community, with all sports catered for from the GAA to soccer, and rugby to athletics. The clubs have people from all minority communities in Ballinrobe including Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Hungarian, Pakistani and the Traveller community. We have seen our sports clubs unite and embrace all ages and cultures regardless of ability.
  • Ballinrobe Tidy Towns committee are among the most dedicated and hardest working groups in the community, with their efforts in keeping Ballinrobe an attractive location for local residents and tourists.

Knock Community

Knock is delighted to be nominated by Mayo County Council in the 2019 Pride of Place Awards, population between 1,000 and 2,000 people category.

The committee, comprised of 13 local people from the Knock Community Futures group, have been busy putting the finishing touches to tomorrow’s busy schedule.  The adjudicators will be taken on a whistle-stop tour of Knock after planting a native tree to commemorate the occasion at the new Plaza in the centre of the village.

From there, they will visit Knock National School who are hosting a summer camp for children with autism this week.  Then over to Knock Shrine to meet Fr. Richard Gibbons and hear all about the recent regeneration of the Shrine and Basilica, bio-diversity plans and the community involvement in the Shrine.  Then it’s on to to the Youth Centre at the HUB which is hosting a summer camp for children from 7 to 11 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The judges will be taken to view the spectacular Mosaic of the Apparition which is the largest single mosaic in Europe, comprising of 1.5 million pieces.

A visit to Knock Museum is a must where the Curator, Grace Mulqueen will tell the story of the Knock Apparition and give a tour of the traditional thatched house and forge which forms part of the exhibits.  After leaving the Shrine grounds, Bernie Byrne, a descenant of a Knock Apparition Witness will chat about growing up in Knock and his experience as a retailer on the Main Street.  Then it’s on to KPS Colour Print for a tour of their state-of-the-art industrial unit, which is the second biggest employer in Knock after the Shrine.

To get a taste of life at a slower pace, a visit to Carramore Meadows ‘Time for Life’ Retirement Village Community Centre where the judges will meet some of it’s residents and hear about the facilities there.  Then a drive out as far as Kiltimagh-Knock United soccer grounds at Cloonlee, Knock and hear about how the club was established with the generous assistance of our diaspora.  Just after 4pm, the group will arrive back at House Hotel hotel where they will be treated to a specially created video presentation about Knock.  Time for some refreshments, followed by a display of Irish Dancing and beautiful singing by the young talent in Knock.

*Thanks to all the committees in each area, who help and put the piece together.


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