By Helen Riddell
THE Bere Island Projects Group (BIPG) has been announced as one of 36 finalists for the 2019 National Lottery Good Causes Awards.
The awards are aimed at honouring the work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who, with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding, have had a huge impact on local communities.
The 36 winning groups will proceed to the grand final in November in six categories: sport, health and well-being, heritage, arts and culture, community and youth. Each national category winner will receive €10,000 with the overall Good Cause of the Year receiving an additional €25,000.
BIPG has been nominated under the heritage category in recognition of its work in preserving the island’s rich heritage which includes a bronze age standing stone and wedge tomb, two Martello towers and military fortifications from when the island was a strategic British military base during WW1.
A key project the group is currently involved in is restoring Lonehort Battery, as a visitor attraction, and they say if they win, the prizemoney will be used towards its completion.
BIPG was formed in 1987 with the aim of creating employment and sustaining the island population. In 2003, with support from the Heritage Council the group drew up the Bere Island Conservation Plan to serve as a blueprint in protecting the island’s heritage.
BIPG chairman Eugene Glendon said the group were delighted: ‘We look forward to the finals which will allow us make a presentation on the best preserved WW1 military fort in the country.’