By Helen Riddell
THE Bere Island Projects Group hosted a visit from Pride of Place judges earlier this week, as one of the seven West Cork Islands who have collectively been nominated in this year’s awards.
The judges, along with county mayor Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, were invited to Bere Island to hear of the work being done across the West Cork Islands. They also heard of initiatives by the West Cork Islands Community Council (WCICC), a voluntary group set up in 2012 to aid development of the West Cork Islands, and facilitate exchange of information between the islands, as well as to form a collective body to work with the West Cork Inter-Agency Group.
The group was welcomed to Bere Island by Eugene Glendon, chair of Bere Island Projects Group. Mayor Murphy addressed the group and commented that, although the West Cork Islands were remote in terms of their geography, the island communities have a tradition of rallying together, and he praised ‘the enormous community spirit that drives the islands’.
Representatives from the Community Council outlined the work the group does across the islands. Chairperson Anne Finch discussed how each of the West Cork Island has two representatives on the council which works closely with the West Cork Interagency Group to develop and implement a strategy to make the islands a better place to live, work to visit or to do business.
Pride of Place judges Eddie Sheehy and John Fitzgerald spoke of the important work the all Ireland competition does, in acknowledging the work of local community groups, both north and south of the border. The competition is now in its sixteenth year and this year has 120 entries.
The judges congratulated the West Cork Islands for being nominated by Cork County Council.
Following the presentation the judges were taken on a tour of Bere Island. The winners will be announced at a function in Cork on November 17th 2018.