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16/11/2015 Donegal Wins Top Award in 2015 IPB /Co-operation Ireland Pride of Place Awards

Pride of Place Gortahork 379 x 269


Representatives from Ghort a Choirce with Tom Dowling, Chairman Pride of Place Committee, Ronan Foley, CEO IPB Insurance,  George Jones Chairman IPB Insurance, Cllr Mary Howard Leas Cathaoirleach Clare County Council, Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister of State for the Diaspora, Tom Coughlan, County Manager Clare County Council, John Bruton, Former Taoiseach and Deputy Chairman Co-operation Ireland and Peter Sheridan at the 13th Annual IPB Pride of Place Awards


Donegal took a top prize in the annual IPB Co-operation Ireland Pride of Place Awards, which were announced on Saturday night (14 November) at a glittering gala event in Ennis Co. Clare. More than 800 people from across the island filled the venue to hear the winners announced by RTE’s Ciana Campbell.


Ghort a’Choirce took runner up place in the main competition in the Islands & Coastal Communities Category.


The Pride of Place Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of people who work tirelessly to create pride in their local area and a better place for local residents. Forty-three groups, ranging from those in small rural communities to groups in inner-city housing estates, took winning or runner up positions in the main and cities competitions. A further six groups received Special Awards, while one local authority received a special Council Award.


Each year, practically every local authority on the island of Ireland nominate groups for doing exceptional work in their communities. This year 102 groups were nominated by their respective local authority. A panel of highly experienced judges visited every nominated group and then selected the winners and runners up. Since the first Pride of Place competition13 years ago, thousands of people have been recognised for the outstanding contribution they make to Irish society.


Last night’s winners received their awards from Councillor Mary Howard, Leas Cathaoirleach Clare County Council, Ronan Foley, Chief Executive IPB, John Bruton, former Taoiseach and deputy Chairman Co-operation Ireland,  Tom Dowling, Chairman Pride of Place Committee, and George Jones, Chairman IPB.


Speaking at the event, IPB Insurance CEO, Ronan Foley said:


”IPB Insurance is proud to be associated as title sponsors of the IPB Pride of Place Awards and more importantly what it represents. I firmly believe that it is essential that we recognise communities and the thousands of volunteers across the island of Ireland that give of themselves selflessly every day. As a mutual insurer that insures local authorities and their communities across the island of Ireland, these awards are an excellent fit. It is clear that working together and getting things done increases peoples’ pride in where they live and in turn helps build vibrant communities. All those nominated epitomise the sense of community spirit that can be seen all across Ireland, with people committed to creating positive civic change in their respective communities.”

Tom Dowling, founder of the event and Chair of the Pride of Place Committee said:

”Even after 13 years, I and the rest of the judges continue to be amazed at how communities from all over the island demonstrate their amazing capacity to care for the people in their communities and respect their heritage, culture and environment.


“I also pay particular thanks to the local authorities all over the island of Ireland, Co-operation Ireland and IPB Insurance for their ongoing support for this unique community competition. ”


Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive, Co-operation Ireland said:

“For Co-operation Ireland, the Pride of Place competition embodies the ethos of the organisation and it shows how working together ordinary people can make a real positive change on society. I congratulate everyone who participated in year’s competition, but especially the winners.


“We would not be able to run such a successful competition without the support of our sponsors IPB, our judging panel, the Pride of Place Committee and everyone who works to make it a success. I would like to thank Clare County Council for hosting this wonderful awards ceremony, and giving us the opportunity to celebrate each other’s achievements”.


Commenting on the Awards ceremony Mary Howard, Leas-Cathaoirleach Clare County Council said: "The event will bring together community representatives and local authorities from right throughout the island of Ireland in a celebration of community spirit. Irish people living abroad will be able to monitor the progress of their local participating community groups online".


Notes To Editors


1.    IPB Pride of Place, which was first piloted in the summer of 2003 and came from the Local Authority All-Island Steering Forum, aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society. The Pride of Place Competition is unique as it specifically recognises the involvement of the local community in all aspects of rural and urban regeneration, including promoting social cohesion, heritage and environmental awareness.

2.    The Competition is run by Co-operation Ireland in conjunction with the Pride of Place Steering Committee and is sponsored by IPB.




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