Offaly County Council congratulates Ballyboy Community Development who won a runner up prize in the annual IPB Co-operation Ireland Pride of Place Awards, at a glittering gala event held in the Armagh City Hotel, hosted by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council. Also nominated were Tullamore Tidy Towns and Bracknagh Community Association in their respective categories.
The prestigious community awards event is organised by peacebuilding charity Co-operation Ireland and sponsored by IPB Insurance. The Pride of Place awards demonstrate and acknowledge extraordinary community development efforts. It is now the largest competition recognising community development achievements on the island of Ireland.
This year marked the 21st anniversary of the awards, and more than 500 people from across the island attended the gala evening to hear the winners announced by MC Pamela Ballentine.
These awards honour the exceptional contributions of individuals and groups committed to enhancing their local neighbourhoods, creating better places to live, work, and socialise. Ballyboy Community Development (BCD) did just that, beating off stiff competition to win the Runners Up prize in the Population 1500–4000 category.
BCD, formed in 2021, is an active, vibrant, and dynamic group dedicated to revitalising Ballyboy village and the lives of all its residents. BCD coordinates a range of initiatives including village inspections, clean ups, purchase of equipment, grant applications, collaborating with various organisations such as Offaly County Council, Offaly Local Development Company, Offaly Public Participation Network, Tidy Towns, Comhaltas and more. The jewel in the crown of BCD is the coordination of a major project to demolish a derelict dance hall and construct a much-needed community centre in the centre of the village. This will be the focal point for all groups in the village and a well-deserved amenity for the local community.
Offaly County Council were delighted to also nominate the following local groups:
- Bracknagh Community Association (representing the Edenderry Municipal District area) in Category 1 Population 0 to 500
- Tullamore Tidy Towns (representing the Tullamore Municipal District area) in Category 9 Climate Action and Biodiversity
as both groups made a significant contribution to improving their neighbourhood by working collectively.
Anna Marie Delaney, Chief Executive of Offaly County Council “welcomed the enormous contributions made by all three entrants from Offaly and said it was uplifting to see the hard work and dedication the groups have put into their communities which really demonstrates their pride of place. Their contributions deserve to be publicly acknowledged and rewarded.” Ms Delaney further congratulated Ballyboy Community Development on their award, and “commended Tullamore Tidy Towns and Bracknagh Community Association for their tireless work and achievements to date.”
Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, Councillor Eddie Fitzpatrick, said “Offaly County Council is immensely proud of the three community groups who competed this year. They have put their heart and soul into making their communities better places to live” and he thanked them for their unflagging commitment and effort.