Eight civic honour events have been held in the two and a half years since the Athlone Municipal District was established in June 2014.
The three types of civic honours that can be bestowed by the council are an address of welcome for a distinguished visitor(s ); an address of recognition for an exceptional achievement by a person or organisation; and a full civic reception, which is the highest form of honour granted when an individual or group has attained outstanding recognition at national or international level.
In the past two years, three civic receptions have been held by the Athlone members. The first was a joint one in honour of the Battery Heights Residents Association, which won the housing estate category at the 2014 Pride of Place Awards, and boxer Cheyanne O’Neill for her silver and gold medal achievements in 2014. Moate Community School Choir received a civic reception after they won the All Island School Choir competition in January 2015; and former FAI president Paddy McCaul was honoured in April 2015.
Addresses of recognition were awarded to the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, European People’s Festival participants, Emergency Blue Light Services, Organisation of ex Servicemen, and Athlone Credit Union.
An address of welcome was also made to the HSE Community Games in August 2014.
All proposals for civic honours are considered by a subcommittee of the Municipal District, then by all district members, and, if approved, forwarded to the council’s Corporate Policy Group.
District manager Pat Keating has also recommended that a single annual event should be organised to acknowledge the success of clubs or sportspersons from the district at provincial or national level. All who achieve this would be invited to submit details to the district administrator by the end of February each year and an event would be organised at Easter.