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Bere islanders in bid for National Lottery funds

October 4th, 2019 12:03 PM

By Southern Star Team

Bere Island Projects Group have been nominated under the heritage category in recognition of their work in preserving the island's rich heritage.

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Bere Island Projects Group are heading to Athlone on October 7th to make their presentation to the judges of the National Lottery Good Causes Awards as one of 36 shortlisted groups who will now proceed to the grand final.

Groups were nominated under six categories: sport, health and wellbeing, 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.

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 their local communities.

Bere Island Projects Group have been nominated under the heritage category in recognition of their 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 are currently involved in is restoring Lonehort Battery, the largest of seven gun batteries on the island, as a visitor attraction.   The group was formed in 1987 with the aim of creating employment and sustaining the island population, it run by a voluntary committee and employs four staff members.   In 2003, with support from the Heritage Council the group drew up the Bere Island Conservation Plan to serve as a blueprint to protect the island’s heritage and landscape.   

Bere Island Projects Group will make their presentation to the judging committee in Athlone, chaired by Norah Casey of Dragon’s Den fame, along with representatives from the National Lottery and Nuala Carey, RTÉ weather and National Lottery presenter. The awards ceremony will be held in Dublin on November 2nd.

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