Home News Community Excitement building in Ballinakill ahead of Pride of Place Awards Ceremony

Excitement building in Ballinakill ahead of Pride of Place Awards Ceremony

Ballinakill Pride of Place (3)

Ireland’s largest Community Awards will be hosted by Dublin City Council, tomorrow night, Saturday January 21, with hundreds of delegates expected to travel from across the four provinces to the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge.

In its 20th year, the Pride of Place awards is an annual competition, organised by peacebuilding charity Co-operation Ireland and is sponsored by IPB Insurance.

Established to promote and celebrate the best in community development, the awards recognise the selfless efforts of people in making their local neighbourhoods better places to live, work and socialise.

For the Pride of Place 2022 competition, Laois was represented by the village of Ballinakill, entering the category for a Population 300 to 1000 citizens.

Ballinakill showcased its community champions superbly on Friday September 16, greeting the judges in the IPB All Island Pride of Place Competition 2022.

There was no mistaking the pride of local people, when they displayed for the judges, all that they have and continue to do, to make Ballinakill a better place to live, work and visit.

It is situated on the R433 close to the Laois-Kilkenny border. It has a rich heritage and a great natural beauty.

Its unique ‘Toll Trees’, Market Square, 1798 Monument, Ballinakill Castle and Heywood Estate & Gardens are some of the landmarks which frame its history and tell its story.

Its natural beauty is a backdrop for a number of outdoor activities- heritage walks, cycle routes and fishing or a simple stroll through the woods to enjoy the peace and tranquillity it offers.

It has a variety of voluntary clubs – GAA, Tidy Towns and recently formed Ballinakill Community Development Association CLG among them.

The local hall is home to cookery, guitar & fitness schools, an Active retirement group, bingo and cards. It has a squash club, outdoor swimming pool and a playground.

It is a vibrant, growing community whose members are committed to maximising its beauty, history, facilities and the talents of its people for the benefit of all.

Community participation and innovation is at the forefront of everything they do in Ballinakill and it is these qualities, which will ensure that the needs of the community will be met in the years ahead.

The aim of the Pride of Place competition is to recognise initiatives taken by local communities to create pride in their area and to celebrate the vital contribution that community groups make to society and focuses on people coming together to shape, enhance and enjoy all that is good about their area.

Pride of Place is an ideal platform to recognise the huge efforts being made in communities around the country and to thank people for their efforts.

The spirit of collaboration and camaraderie represented by the various initiatives is inspiring and is an excellent example of how communities can work together to make a real and practical difference to society.

The competition is about showing respect and inclusion for every sector in our communities, young, old, rich, or poor and creating communities to which the people are proud to say they belong.

It is also about communities demonstrating pride in their heritage, culture, achievements, people, and place.

Pride of Place is an All-island competition, whereby local authorities from across the island of Ireland nominate groups in their communities who they believe have made a signification contribution to improving their neighbourhood, working.

The Awards will be livestreamed from The Clayton Hotel for supporters wishing to view the awards online.

For the supporters watching from home, the event will be livestreamed at this link: https://prideofplace.ie/ – click on the button that states ‘watch live’. The viewing button will not be active until 7pm on Saturday the 21.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.