BY MARTIN WALSH
IN the midst of its many festivals, the scenic village of Courtmacsherry is brushing up on its appearance as it prepares for the arrival of the judges for the IPB Insurance Pride of Place Competition in association with Co-Operation Ireland.
Nominated by local councillor Paul Hayes, Courtmacsherry is the only county Cork village in its category (population 300-1,000) as it showcases the importance of community across all sectors. County Cork has three other locations in other categories.
The awards, now in their 17th consecutive year, are spearheaded by former Meath county manager Tom Dowling, the chairperson and founder of the Pride of Place Initiative. Co-Operation Ireland is associated through its Local Authority Programme while this year is the eighth successive year with support from IPB Insurance.
The competition acknowledges the work being done every day by communities all over Ireland. It is based on communities demonstrating directly to the judges their pride in their place by oral presentation, exhibitions of community activities and culture and a tour of the area highlighting the aspects of which they are particularly proud.
Also of importance is how the community demonstrates its partnership with their local authority and the integration of all sectors of the community. Courtmacsherry will be hoping that its Community Centre, Lifeboat Station and Community Shop will serve to showcase its spirit of community.
The Courtmacsherry Community Centre, renovated in 2013, is a hive of activity throughout each week with yoga, tai chi, keep fit, meetings of the many various organisations through the parish of Barryroe along with fundraising events and parish celebrations.
The Courtmacsherry RNLI is another organisation that exemplifies community. One of the oldest lifeboat stations in Ireland it is steeped in history especially with its response to the RMS ‘Lusitania’ on May 7th, 1915.
Having lost its last convenience shop in August 2015, the community responded and the village now has Cork’s first community shop run by some 30 volunteers.
There are also exciting times ahead with the Courtmacsherry-Timoleague Sewerage Scheme nearing completion, the addition of the Wild Atlantic Way, the development of a park by the pier, the construction of a state of the art facility for the Courtmacsherry Rowing Club and the arrival of a new Lifeboat in 2022.