KINSALE and Clonakilty are celebrating after they both picked up prizes at the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town Awards.
This is the second major award for Kinsale this year following on from becoming Ireland’s No 1 Foodie Town.
At the ceremony in the Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny they won the national title for the most enterprising town in Ireland in the 3,000 to 7,000 population category.
This year’s awards saw collaboration between business groups and communities from over 80 towns and urban villages nationwide, with entries demonstrating exemplary entrepreneurial initiatives being undertaken to boost local economies.
Kinsale, also for the second year running, won the regional Munster title, taking home total prize money of €13,000, while Clonakilty won an award for the ‘Best Community Initiative’ for the Clonakilty Community Garden and picked up €1,000 in prize money
‘It’s a huge achievement for Kinsale and its hardworking community, Firstly being shortlisted to the 83 finalists and then taking these two prestigious awards,’ said Guny Patel, chairperson of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business.
‘We presented to the judges in September and after our presentations they visited local businesses and visited Kinsale Community School where principal Fergal McCarthy gave a guided tour of this world-class campus and talked about enterprise at his school and how an entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged amongst the school students,’ said Ms Patel.
The Kinsale submission was led by the local Chamber of Tourism and Business and included input from community groups such as Kinsale Tidy Towns, Age Actions and Kinsale Youth Support Services (KYSS).
Meanwhile, the Clonakilty Friends of Asylum Seekers and partners said they are absolutely delighted to have won an award for Best Community Initiative.
‘We would like to give a huge thank you to the many participants, volunteers and supporters of our humble but beautiful project,’ said Olive Walsh of Clonakilty Friends of Asylum Seekers.’
‘The Clonakilty Community Garden originated as a resource for the 100 or so refugees and asylum seekers living in the direct provision hostel at Clonakilty Lodge.
‘It provides a space for growing food, social integration and experiencing fulfilling work.’
With the wider community rallying around, the project has evolved as a garden for the whole community.
They have also built a beautiful culture dome for celebrations and workshops, as well providing several areas for relaxation and areas for children to play.
The team will use the prize money of €1,000 to improve their dome structure.