Inis Meain wins prestigious Pride of Place award

Galway Daily news Inis Meain takes home prize at Pride of Place awards

Inis Meáin was found to be the finest of Ireland’s Island and Coastal Communities at the annual IPB Pride of Place awards.

The Aran Island triumphed over Spanish Point, Co. Clare and Baldoyle, Co. Dublin to take home first prize in this category.

The Pride of Place judges said they were “enchanted by the sheer beauty of this place, its awareness of the value and national significance of its heritage, culture and connections to many important historical people.”

Also praised was the fact that, unlike many other islands, Inis Meáin has both a primary and secondary school. “The approach to education which attracts many students and others to this small community is playing a huge role in developing a proper sustainable community.”

Comhlacht Forbartha Inis Meáin was set up a year and a half ago to be the voice for the community by residents of the islands.

When making their case to the Pride of Place judging panel they highlighted the range of traditional industries and tourism initiatives that have made Inis Meáin a more vibrant community.

“The high end tourism product and international clothing industry gives the island a strong reputation,” they said.

The knitting factory is Inis Meáin’s main employer, providing jobs for 22 people, and visitors to the island will soon have a suites at a 5-star exclusive mini-hotel set to open next season.

The IPB Pride of Place awards are an all Ireland competition that recognises the work that people put into improving their local communities.

Tom Dowling, Chairperson of Pride of Place, was delighted “That after 16 years the competition continues to embed itself in the very heart of the Island of Ireland’s communities and gives them the opportunity to highlight the proud and amazing achievements of their place.”

At the awards ceremony in Cork last weekend representatives of 800 communities came to compete for prizes in 22 categories.

Peter Sheridan Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland said, “Pride of Place deserves its position as one of the most prestigious community awards on the island of Ireland and Co-operation Ireland is delighted that it continues to go from strength to strength.”

The full list of winners on the night was:

Communities Reaching Out Initiative:

Children’s Grief Centre, Limerick City

Community Wellbeing Initiative:

SPACE, Newry City

Council Community Engagement Award:

Meath County Council

Creative Place Initiative:

Community Centre for Music and the Arts, Dublin City

Main Competition – Population Category 0-300:

Ray, Co Donegal

Main Competition – Population Category 300-1000:

Balla, Co Mayo

Main Competition – Population Category 1000-2000:

Rathdrum, Co Wicklow

Main Competition – Population Category 2000-5000:

Bunclody, Co Wexford

Main Competition – Population Category over 5000:

Shannon Town, Co Clare

Main Competition – Community Tourism Initiative:

Moneygall Development Association, Co Offaly

Main Competition – Creative Place Initiative:

Muintir Chrónáin – Áras Chrónáin, Clondalkin, South Dublin Council Area

Main Competition – Creative Wellbeing Initiative – Holistic:

Comhairle na nÓg Liatroma, Co Leitrim

Main Competition – Creative Wellbeing Initiative – Targeted:

Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre, Co Louth

Main Competition – Housing Estates:

Garden City & Crestwood Estates, Co Meath

Main Competition – Islands and Coastal Communities:

Inis Méain, Co Galway

Main Competition – Urban Neighbourhoods:

Corduff, Co Dublin, Fingal Council Area

Urban Neighbourhoods/Villages with a Population under 1000:

Douglas Street, Cork City

Urban Neighbourhoods/Villages with a Population of 1000-2000:

Market Area, Belfast

Urban Neighbourhoods/Villages with a Population over 2000:

Ballyfermot, Dublin City

Special Awards:

  • Clonegal, Co Carlow
  • Cork Street Pastors
  • Maharees Coastal Area
  • Open Circle Arts, Co Kilkenny
  • Wicklow Hospice Foundation