Two Limerick projects vie for National Pride of Place honours

  • Limerick City and County Council

Judges to visit during summer before final decision is made.

One housing estate and one youth organisation that are the epitome of civic pride and excellence in Limerick will fly the green and white flag for Limerick in this year’s IPB Pride of Place Competition in association with Co-operation Ireland.

St Patrick’s Villas in Castleconnell and Northside Youth Space in Ballynanty have been selected by Limerick City and County Council to be Limerick’s representatives in the annual competition this year.

IPB Pride of Place is an all-island competition that acknowledges the work that communities are doing all over the island of Ireland.

The competition focus is about people coming together to shape, change and improve daily lives in their communities.

The all-island competition, which is run in conjunction with local authorities North and South, aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society along with generating awareness, respect and inclusion for every facet of society.

Judging takes place during the summer months, before a gala awards ceremony in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, Co Donegal on the 2nd December 2017.

Limerick has an impressive track record in the competition, with Broadford winning the 0-300 population category last year, while Liskennett Farm received a Special Award.

Kilteely were the winners in the 0-300 population category in 2015, while Castleview Estate in Newcastle West won their category (Housing Estate) in 2013.

Previous runners-up include Scanlan Park in Castleconnell (Housing Estate – 2015), Radharc na Cille, Kilmallock (Housing Estate – 2014), Moyross Residents’ Forum (Community – 2013) and Limerick Youth Service (Youth – 2013).

A Special Award has also been received by C-Well Kings Island in 2014.

St Patrick’s Villas, Castleconnell will this year fly the flag in the Housing Estates category, with Northside Youth Space selected in Community Based Youth Initiative category.

Congratulating the two nominees, Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Stephen Keary said, “We have amazing examples, day in day out inspirational communities and groups who are doing their best to promote Limerick and live and work for the betterment of their neighbours and friends. They are highlighting the fantastic sense of civic spirit in Limerick, with communities like these showing exactly what can be achieved.”

Carmel Kirby, Director of Social Development with Limerick City and County Council said: “Limerick communities and groups have embraced the Pride of Place competition which has resulted in Limerick having a great record. Based on the entries this year I have no doubt that they will be high on the judges’ list when it comes to selecting winners in December.”

St. Patrick’s Villas, Castleconnell

St. Patrick’s Villas is situated in the townland of Stradbally North, near the scenic village of Castleconnell. This estate contains 46 houses, with a mix of privately owned and local authority properties.

St. Patrick’s Villas Residents’ Association has been in existence for the last 5 years and has created many strong links with the Local Authority and organisations in the town. Members of the Association attend the Estate Residents’ Representative Forum, which is held twice a year by Limerick City and County Council and they contribute constructively at the Forum.

In its relatively short time in existence, the Residents Association has made tremendous strides in terms of improving the physical appearance of the estate and generating positive community spirit. For instance, with the assistance of local businesses and residents they purchased their own ride-on mower, hand-mower and leaf blower to assist in the maintenance of the estate in its pristine condition.

The estate received a number of awards in Best Kept Estate and Best Floral Display in the Castleconnell Tidy Towns Competition from 2012 to 2016.

All residents are very proud to be living in their estate.

Northside Youth Space – Ballynanty

With its door a year open, the Northside Youth Space (NYS) has already established itself as a favourite with young people and the wider community.

Located beside Thomond Park, NYS, which is based in Ballynanty is facilitated by Limerick Youth Service (LYS).

NYS developed from a desire to bring community based projects to one centralised, accessible and youth friendly space. The purpose built NYS delivers youth work that enhances the civic, personal and social development of young people.

With the support of JP McManus Benevolent Fund and Limerick City & County Council, NYS was officially opened by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD, in March 2017.

NYS is home to Youth & Family Support, Garda Youth Diversion, Community Mapping & Youth Mental Health Projects, Youth Café and volunteer led youth clubs.

NYS also works with the local community offering a space for a range of activities including drama, dance, photography and sports.

The location of the NYS is fitting as the late Sr. Joan Bowles, founder of LYS, was a teacher in Ballynanty in her formative years. Young people have been to the fore in developing NYS with the facilities echoing the words of Sr. Joan in saying that ‘only the best is good enough for our youth’.