District takes Pride of Place once again

BANBRIDGE District once again proved itself to be at the forefront of community pride as it came away with two awards in the prestigious IPB All-Island Pride of Place Awards announced at a gala ceremony in Thomond Park, Limerick on Saturday 3 November.

Now in its tenth year, the Pride of Place Awards, which are organised by Co-operation Ireland in conjunction with the Pride of Place Steering Committee, recognises groups who work tirelessly to create and promote pride in their cities, towns and villages.

Banbridge District Council had nominated Laurencetown, Lenaderg & Tullylish in the ‘Previous Prize Winners’ category and Royal Black Preceptory 1000 for the organisation of the annual Scarva Sham Fight in the ‘Cultural Tourism’ category. Both groups had the opportunity to showcase the initiatives they have undertaken and the impacts their work brings to their communities when the judges visited the district in August.

However it was only at the awards ceremony that each group found out how they had faired in their respective categories. Royal Black Preceptory1000 were delighted to be awarded one of two Special Awards that are given to entries whose work offer a unique quality.

Announcing the winners of the Special Awards category the judges stated the Scarva Sham Fight, “is organised on a modest budget and is without doubt a great credit to the organisers and demonstrates what can be achieved with proper community support.”

Laurencetown, Lenaderg and Tullylish picked up a well-earned third place in the ‘Previous Prize Winners’ category with members of the LLT Community Association receiving the award on behalf of the community on the night. With nine years of previous winners also eligible to enter this category, a third place award was considered a significant achievement.

Both awards were presented by Deputy Jan O’Sullivan, Minister of State for the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government along with Co-operation Ireland Chairman Christopher Moran and Pride of Place Committee Chairman Tom Dowling.

Christopher Moran, Chairman of Co-operation Ireland said of the award winners, “I congratulate all the winners of this year’s Pride of Place Awards. The fact that we have reached this ten year milestone is testament to the esteem in which the competition is held, celebrating as it does the achievements and contribution that community groups make to local society. It is important to highlight the wonderful, selfless work that is going on in your communities.”

On hearing the news of the District’s success, Council Chairman, Councillor Junior McCrum paid tribute to this great accomplisment. “Banbridge District was lucky to be represented by two outstanding entries this year. Both groups can be very proud of their achievements to date. On behalf of Banbridge District Council I wish to extend my congratulations to Laurencetown, Lenaderg and Tullylish and to Royal Black Perceptory 1000 for picking up their respective awards. This is great news for the whole district.”