The Mayor of Galway County Councillor Liam Carroll and the chairperson of Galway Rural Development Tom Madden presented the Golden Mile of Galway Awards and launched the Golden Mile 2014 calendar in the Claregalway Hotel with more than 200 people attending the launch.
This year seven groups and organisations entered the competition. These groups came from all parts of the county, ranging from Aughrim to Maree, Milltown, Clostoken, Williamstown, Newbridge, and Camus.
The overall winner of the Galway Golden Mile Awards 2013 was Scoil na Maighdine Muire gan Smál in Camus. The Corralough Golden Mile Committee of Williamstown took home the award for community effort and litter management. The Aughrim Community Development Company Ltd won the natural heritage award while the Clostoken Golden Mile Group won the built heritage award. Finally, the best school award went to Scoil na Maighdine Muire gan Smál in Camus.
The judging panel for the awards ceremony included John Costello, the area engineer for Galway County Council; Dr Christy Cunniffe, archaeologist and heritage specialist; and Zena Hoctor, heritage and environmental consultant.
The awards were designed and produced by locally based artists and crafts people. The commemorative stones for the Overall Golden Mile Award were created by Lewis Goodman, the perpetual trophy was designed by Ronnie Graham, and the natural heritage prints for the other category awards were made by Sabine Springer.
Each individual Golden Mile runs through beautiful scenic countryside with plenty of historical sites along the way, such as Hurney’s Forge and the ruins of Kirwan’s Lodge on the Aughrim Mile, views of the Burren on the Maree Mile, Clostoken Church on the Clostoken Mile, and views of the Twelve Bens mountains on the Camus Mile.
“It is great to see the creativity, energy, and commitment of the various groups and schools throughout the county who have entered their miles into this competition,” says Cllr Carroll. “They have invested their time in various ways to make their mile attractive and provide information about the treasures of built, natural, and cultural heritage that can be found along the mile.”
Tom Madden said; “When times are hard and the future is uncertain, people take stock and look to see how they can support each other individually and in groups. The Golden Mile Competition gives communities an opportunity to work together for the benefit of their area and in doing so bring back pride in their own place.”
Michael Burke of Galway Rural Development gave a presentation and photographic show of all of the miles that took part in this year’s competition.
The Golden Mile of Galway Competition is organised by Galway County Council, Galway Rural Development, Forum Connemara, Meitheal Forbarta na Gaeltachta, Comhdhail Oileáin na hEireann, and Galway County Heritage Forum with the support of the farming organisations.
The calendar is available from Marie Mannion, heritage officer at Galway County Council, Prospect Hill, by calling (091 ) 509198 or by e-mail [email protected], or from Frank Keane of Galway Rural Development, Mellows Campus in Athenry, at(091 ) 844335 or e-mail [email protected]