One of the top prizes at last weekend’s IPB All-Island Pride of Place Awards went to Shantalla Residents Association who were given particular recognition for their trojan work on the Gathering Project, bringing people from home and abroad together for the re-enactment of the Monster Rallies addressed by Daniel O’Connell.
At the annual award ceremony, which took place last Saturday at The Venue, Derry, the Shantalla Residents Association received the top award in category three of the Cities Competition, which is a single issue category for Tourism Diaspora Initiative. It wasn’t the only Galway group to receive recognition as the Ballybane Community Sports and Men’s Shed Project received the runner-up prize in category one of the Cities Competition for communities with a population of less than 1,000 people, and Oranmore was also named as a Livecom nominee.
Speaking about Shantalla Residents Association, the judges remarked: "Organisation was at the heart of the success of this initiative, which was based on the celebration of an historical figure. Through a variety of communication methods contact was made locally and with the diaspora, and an excellent programme of events was organised - the highlight of which was the re-enactment of the Monster Rallies addressed by Daniel O' Connell all those years ago. This resourceful community have every right to be proud of what they have achieved and the judges feel that this could form the basis for further events based on the great man."
Minister Phil Hogan TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, joined deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA, Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly of Derry City Council, Co-operation Ireland chairman Christopher Moran, Pride of Place committee chairman Tom Dowling, and chairman of IPB George Jones sponsors of the event, to present the group with its award.
The IPB Pride of Place Awards are organised locally in Galway by the environment department of Galway City Council who sponsor and run the Pride of Place Nomination process in the city on an annual basis. Representatives from each of the nominated groups attended the awards ceremony on Derry, accompanied by Galway City Mayor Cllr Pádraig Conneely. Other groups nominated were the Galway Arts Centre - Red Bird Youth Arts Centre, Glan Suas Gaillimh - Galway Tidy Towns, and Rahoon Youth Project (Droim Chaoin branch ). All participants received a certificate of participation in respect of their entries.
Speaking at the awards the deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, said: "I am pleased to recognise through the Pride of Place Awards the many people across the island of Ireland who are moving forward, making progress and committed to creating and promoting pride in their cities, towns and villages.
“I commend Co-operation Ireland for the Pride of Place awards and their work at building positive relationships at community level thorough the promotion of mutual respect and co-operation. The people nominated for awards are a shining example of the community spirit that exists in abundance across Ireland, with people committed to making a positive difference in their local community."
The All-Island Pride of Place competition recognises and celebrates the vital contributions that community partnerships make to society. The focus is on people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their local area. It differs from other similar projects in that they specifically recognise the involvement of the local community in all aspects of rural and urban regeneration including, promoting social cohesion, involvement in planning, the promotion of heritage and environmental awareness. The Competition is run by Co-operation Ireland in conjunction with the Pride of Place Steering Committee and it is sponsored by IPB.