A community outreach programme based at St Patrick’s Cathedral was honoured at the all-Ireland Pride of Place community awards on Saturday evening for the work being done to connect the historic religious congregation with a changing population on its doorstep.
The Cathedral was one of four city projects nominated for the prestigious awards.
Also winning on the night was Donnybrook Tidy Towns for their volunteer efforts over the last year.
The awards, hosted by Marty Morrissey, took place online due to the Covid pandemic with 6,000 people logging in from across Ireland to see community groups pick up gongs.
St Patrick’s took top spot in the Community Wellbeing Initiative category for their Community Outreach Officers work in the residential areas around the Cathedral.
Judges said that St Patrick’s was tackling “many social issues affecting the quality of life for local residents including the complexity of its diverse community. The judges were awestruck by the many fantastic initiatives. This group is all about participative activism, seeding of hope and exceptional giving.”
Donnybrook residents meanwhile were an example of the good work being done by concerned citizens.
“For the winning entry the overarching group founded in the recent past has achieved so much in a relatively short space of time. Above all they have fostered an all-inclusive community spirit in their area. This committee is used as a focal point to organize a host of events and projects including the development of a new “village square”. They are deserving of the highest praise.”
Missing out this year were the Better Ballymun group and the Stone Soup Project in Cherry Orchard who both received nominations.
Sponsored by IPB Insurance, the Pride of Place competition was initiated 18 years ago though a Co-operation Ireland programme to acknowledge the invaluable work undertaken by volunteers and those involved in local community development.
It has grown into the largest competition recognising community development achievements on the island of Ireland.
President Michael D. Higgins, who is Joint Patron of Co-operation Ireland with Queen Elizabeth, said the awards played an important role.
“The Pride of Place awards are a most important initiative, reminding us that creating societies that are ethical and inclusive is a task for all of our citizens, of all ages and circumstances.”
Pride of Place founder and Chairman Tom Dowling said; “These Awards continue to be as important as ever after all these years and the purpose of the awards has never changed. They are about recognising and celebrating the extraordinary, inspirational tireless work being done by communities all over the Island of Ireland as they strive to make their place a better place in which to live.”
Dr Christopher Moran, Chairman 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.”
George Jones Chairman, IPB Insurance said: “We are proud to be title sponsors of the Pride of Place awards and continue to be amazed by the standard of submissions and their social impact on communities is a testament to an individual and collective vision for a better Ireland.
“This competition provides a fitting platform to recognise the vast strides communities across the island of Ireland are making. It is essential, now more than ever, that in these challenging times that we reflect and focus on the positives and take time to celebrate the excellent work accomplished around the island of Ireland.”