Three projects nominated by Waterways Ireland have been chosen as finalists for this year’s All Ireland Community & Council Awards, presented by IPB Insurance and LAMA, at Croke Park on Saturday 15 February.
Inland waterways finalists in the awards’ 14th year include the Royal Canal Citizen Science Project, which has been selected in the Best Environmental/Ecological Project/Initiative category.
This project is where Waterways Ireland facilitated a change in management, following consultation with a local community group, to support local biodiversity on the Royal Canal at Baltrasna, near Mullingar.
The effect was then monitored by a local environmental group along with Butterfly Conservation Ireland and Birdwatch Ireland.
Elsewhere, Crinniú @ Portumna has been selected as a finalist in Best Arts/Culture (inclucing festivals & events).
This inaugural community-centred heritage event, subtitled ‘a celebration of people, place and heritage’, was a collaboration between Waterways Ireland, Galway County Council Heritage Office and OPW Portumna Castle.
The event received great local support as well as attendance by barges from the Heritage Boat Association.
Stories from the Waterways has been selected as a finalist in Best Connected Council (Communication & Digital Marketing) category.
For this project, Waterways Ireland recorded two series of digital media features. One focused on local communities and their interactions with the waterways, and a second series focused on the work of Waterways Ireland staff in the protection and promotion of waterways heritage.
These digital shorts can be viewed on social media and on the Waterways Ireland website.
Hundreds of leading community organisations from across Ireland entered this year’s awards, which boast over 19 categories.
The main award, the much anticipated Grand Prix title, goes to the project that has received the highest level of recognition from judges.
Last year, the prestigious title went to Louth County Council for their Sports Inclusion Disability Programme. The aspiration of the highly successful programme is to increase and sustain participation for people with disabilities.
Speaking about this year’s finalists, event manager Michael O'Donoghue, said: “We anticipate this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever, with many unsung heroes being recognised for their outstanding contribution to their communities.
“Competition remains high with so many inspiring projects deserving awards.”