Westmeath County Council has scooped the Chambers Ireland award for its Eco-Friendly Schools competition, under the Sustainable Environment category.
The council’s leas cathaoirleach, Cllr Frank McDermott, together with environmental awareness officer Ruth Maxwell, were presented with the prize at the awards ceremony held in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin.
Speaking after accepting the award, Cllr McDermott said this national award was “a fabulous achievement for the county” and he acknowledged the hard work of teachers and students who participated in the competition.
“This award is recognition of the hard work and commitment by the schools and hopefully this award will lead to further success in the years ahead.”
Ruth Maxwell said that the eco-friendly schools competition “recognises and rewards schools that have shown their pride in what they have done to promote a sustainable environment”.
“The pride they have shown is infectious and spreads the message of a sustainable environment to the home and wider community,” she added.
This year, Moyvore National School were the runners-up and St Patrick’s National School, Ballinagore were the overall winners.
Both schools received an award earlier in the year at the Cathaoirleach Awards and they, together with all the other shortlisted schools, will now be visited by cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Cllr Johnnie Penrose, accompanied by Ruth Maxwell, with the national award to show them what the council has achieved by their commitment and participation in the Eco-Friendly Schools competition.
The council was shortlisted for three other categories at the awards - the Cathaoirleach Awards Community in Action scheme under the Supporting Active Communities category; Belvedere House, Gardens and Park under the Parks and Recreation category; and Bike Start - Information, Awareness and Education Programme under the Smarter Travel category. These shortlisted projects were awarded certificates for their nomination.
Chambers Ireland is Ireland’s largest business organisation with 60 member chambers representing 13,000 businesses nationwide, and it uses the awards to profile the excellent work undertaken by local authorities to highlight best practice, stimulate ideas, and offer encouragement to practitioners in the wider local government sector.