President praises Pride of Place awards as communities honoured for Covid response
President Michael D Higgins praised the efforts of ordinary people across Ireland in the face of Covid as Ireland largest community awards took place on Saturday evening.
President Higgins said ‘QUOTE TO COME’ as thousands logged on to take part in the ceremony hosted by RTE Presenter Marty Morrissey.
The all-Ireland event featured 82 projects from 29 local authority areas. Dubbed the ‘Oscars of the Community Sector’ the Pride of Place awards is an annual competition organised by Co-operation Ireland and sponsored by IPB Insurance.
It promotes and celebrates the best in community development and recognises the selfless efforts of people in making their local area a better places to live, work and socialise.
Local authorities from across the island nominate groups in their communities who they feel have made a significant contribution to improving their neighbourhood, working collectively. The competition culminates with a Gala Awards Ceremony.
This year marked the 18th anniversary of the awards which was to be hosted by Kerry County Council but took place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pride of Place Chairperson Tom Dowling said: “The purpose of these awards has never changed. They are about recognising and celebrating the extraordinary, inspirational and 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.
“This year more than ever, the work of our communities was even more important as they managed the challenge of Covid-19 and ensured our vulnerable people were looked after. We are proud to have had the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate all the wonderful communities who participated in this year’s awards.”
Dr Christopher Moran, Chairman Co-operation Ireland added: “Co-operation Ireland has no other programme that embodies the charity’s ethos better than Pride of Place and in 2020 it was even more important it took place to recognise the huge efforts of ordinary people during the pandemic.
“The impact Pride of Place has had in towns and villages across the island since it started in 2003 cannot be underestimated, and its continuing success is down to the dedicated volunteers and their love of where they live.”
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 your 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.”