There was a large turn-out representing community and residents groups from throughout Clare for Clare County Council’s annual community awards presentation.

Cllr Gerry Flynn presented the awards for the Best Kept Local Authority Estates while Cllr Pat Hayes announced the winners of the Clare in Bloom competition.

Opening the event, Mayor of Clare Cllr Tom McNamara said, “The Clare Community Awards give official recognition to those who are individually and collectively making a real positive difference in their communities on a daily basis. There is something very uplifting about seeing members of any community coming together. It is important that we acknowledge those who give so much to back to their community and to their county.”

Local authority CEO, Pat Dowling, commented, “It is clear that Clare is a vibrant location, thanks to the thousands of individuals coming together with bright ideas and positive attitudes to making things happen.  Clare County Council is delighted to play its part in recognising your achievements and honouring your shared commitment to your respective communities and to the county.”

Overall winner of the Best Kept Estates was Rooska, Lisdoonvarna. Cllr Gerry Flynn commented, “In this the 15th year of the competition, I want to commend the residents in each of the participating estates for their achievements.  Collectively, Clare’s residents’ associations and estate committees have made a massive contribution to the physical appearance of this county.”

This year’s Clare in Bloom competition featured 27 participants. Tuamgraney Development Association were the overall winners while Doonbeg Tidy Towns received the Cathaoirleach’s award.

The inaugural Betty Devanny Memorial Award, named in honour of one of Clare County Council’s top officials who died suddenly in May, went to O’Briensbridge Community Group.

Kilrush took the top award in Category 1 for towns with a population larger than 700. Quin Tidy Towns came second while Newmarket-on-Fergus and Shannon Tidy Towns committees were among the recipients of special endeavour awards.

Clare Teenage Disco, an initiative of An Garda Siochana, is one of two groups that will represent Clare in this year’s Pride of Place competition which is run by Cooperation Ireland. The success of this project is down to the involvement of  multi-agency cooperation and it is supported by young people, their parents and the local business community.