BY MARTIN WALSH
COURTMACSHERRY and the Seven Heads Peninsula are celebrating their success in the IPB Pride of Place awards after they were chosen as the only Cork rural award winner.
The competition acknowledges the work being done by communities all over the island of Ireland and Courtmacsherry took first place in the Islands and Coastal Communities category.
Chairperson of the Courtmacsherry Development Association Stephen Finn said: ‘It’s a great boost for the village and indeed the wider community and provides further encouragement to continue making our community an even better place to live and to visit.’
The winning citation read: ‘The day of the judges’ visit, arranged so incredibly well, started with one of the strongest, best structured and visual stories of a community that the judges have witnessed. The walk through the village and the boat trip only served to enhance the judges’ positive view of the place.
Stand out features of the visit included the work of the RNLI volunteers, the remarkable reach of the village’s history, the pride in its local GAA star (Ryan O’Donovan) and the fantastic community shop run by volunteers. Surely the best accolade a community can hear is when the judges declare that they cannot wait to return to this stunningly beautiful coastal village and stay a while.’
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF), who submitted the nomination for the award and who lives locally, commented: ‘I’m so glad that the judges agreed with my own belief that we really have something special in this locality. There is a long tradition of volunteerism and community spirit here and I’m so proud that we won this prestigious award in recognition of that.’
Meanwhile, Independent councillor Alan Coleman added: ‘Courtmacsherry’s victory at the Pride of Place awards is a recognition for the spirit and resilience displayed by the community. They put together a successful campaign to have Courtmacsherry included in the WAW and when they lost their last shop, they set up their own successful community shop.’
Chief executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added: ‘The high standard of competition and the achievements of the nominees, acknowledged here this evening at the IPB Pride of Place Awards, demonstrate the potential for local communities around the county to foster productive partnerships with Cork County Council.’