In an online virtual awards ceremony to celebrate the IPB Pride of Place Awards in association with Cooperation Ireland on Saturday evening, Kilmuckridge received the top prize in the Islands and Coastal Communities category. The basis for the application was the joint collaboration of the recently formed Kilmuckridge Development Group and the local Tidy Towns group that has enhanced the village by identifying a number of projects and initiatives that were raised after public consultation.
The application listed new traffic calming measures in the village and future projects and before Marty Morrissey, the host of the online event announced the winners he mentioned how important it was to have the “buy in” from the local community and referred to the new Kilmuckridge Morriscastle Walkway as the flagship initiative and emphasised the importance of communication in any project.
The purpose of this national competition is to acknowledge the work being done every day by communities all over the island of Ireland. The competition is based on communities demonstrating directly to the judges their pride in their place but with COVID restrictions in place for 2020 the entry comprised of a presentation, video and online interview where the team had the opportunity to showcase the work behind the groups and what the identified projects mean to the residents of Kilmuckridge. Chairperson of the Kilmuckridge Development Group Johhny Dempsey spoke of the process behind the public consultation and how the project was delivered with Chairperson of the Tidy Towns Group John Hearne spoke about the welcome he received when he first arrived in the village and admiration for the already thriving Tidy Towns group. The video presentation was a true example of the community spirit with several members of the community contributing and was compiled by John Anderson. One of the key areas of focus was the cooperation between the community, businesses and the local county council. The Wexford Co Council contact for this project was Michael Sweeney. In normal circumstances, the judges visit each region to access the application submitting with this year owing to COVID there was an online interview. Representing Kilmuckridge village on the day were Mary Farrell, John Hearne, Pat Rath and Norma Quinsey, along with Michael Sweeney of Wexford Co Council.
The application detailed Kilmuckridge as a thriving coastal village in North Wexford. The extensive array of amenities in this charming village is a testament to the social and business character of the local residents. The community is extremely proud of their village status and ethos which demonstrates sustainability and local support throughout. The local landscape delivers an energetic agricultural sector which is complemented by the nationally renowned Morriscastle blue flag beach, granted for its excellent water quality, safety well-managed environment and local services. Tourism is a key economic driver. The expression “there’s no place like home” is certainly true for the people living here, from the long-standing families to the new arrivals who have made this coastal community their home. Community spirit and inclusion is at the heart of many social clubs, with interest ranging from culture, heritage, arts, environment, education, and sport – ensuring every generation finds their niche here.
“What was wonderful about the project was that it gave our community a chance to take stock of what we have achieved in recent years” says local Councillor and team member, Mary Farrell. “We sat down and thought about how we would present what the village and these projects mean to us and to our community, it’s is amazing to see the positivity especially in such a difficult year. We then asked members of our community to take part in our video and explain why this village means so much to them! The end result is a lovely snapshot that will something that we can all look back on with a sense of achievement, community and as the award says pride” laughs Mary.
The Kilmuckridge Development Group alongside Kilmuckridge Tidy Towns have several new projects in the pipeline including a playground, additional parking and even a community website and with the support and effort behind both groups they are sure to be a success but for now they are looking forward to celebrating their success at these national awards once it is safe to do so!