PRIDE OF PLACE JUDGING
MEMBERS of the local community showcased everything Blessington has to offer as Pride of Place judges were brought on a tour of the close-knit town.
Having been named as Leinster’s Most Enterprising Town in 2017, Blessington was nominated by Wicklow County Council for Pride of Place 2019. The competition 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.
John Horan, chairperson of Blessington Town Team, greeted the visiting judges during a three-hour tour and presentation.
‘We had a three-hour window which you can’t exceed just so as to be fair to the other nominated towns. We visited Russborough House, Blessington Men’s Shed and the Municipal District Office where some councillors also met the judges. There was also representation from the Blessington and District Forum, Blessington Tidy Towns, the Culture and Heritage section from the Town Team and the local business network,’ said Mr Horan, as he described the visit.
Judges were also brought on a tour of local businesses and paid visits to the new heritage trail and the new tourist office, as well as visiting the Downshire Monument which underwent a recent clean up. Particular pride was taken in showcasing the Blessington Greenway.
‘That’s our real pride and joy,’ said Mr Horan. ‘We discussed what we had carried out in phase one by linking up with Russborough House. Then we talked about Wicklow County Council’s plans to cover 42.4km of walking and cycling trails and how the region will become Ireland’s first ‘E’ destination.’
There was also a presentation on efforts to make Blessington a sustainable energy community, with the judges brought on a journey through Blessington in an electric car.
The winners will be announced on Saturday, November 30, in Kilkenny’s Lyrath Hotel.
‘I think the judges were impressed by what Blessington has to offer and by the cooperation between the local community and the local authority. The sense of community spirit was alive and well,’ added Mr Horan.
John Fitzgerald, judge, Declan Nelson, judge, Caroline Fox, Wicklow County Council, and John Horan, Blessington Town Team, on the Blessington Greenway.
Kieran Burke, principal, Blessington Community College, Cllr Avril Cronin and Kilian McGreal, Blessington Forum.
Michael Doyle, Bob Miller and Kevin Byrne.
Paul Tyrrell, Michael Sargent and John Horan, Blessington Town Team.
John Horan, Blessington Town Team; Caroline Fox, Wicklow County Council; Michael Doyle, Credit Union; Madge Tyrrell, Forum; Johnny Glennon, Credit Union; Anita Moroney, Tidy Towns; Declan Nelson, judge; and John Fitzgerald, judge, at the Credit Union Roundabout on the Naas Road.
Michael Sargent, Declan Nelson, Kilian McGreal and John Fitzgerald walk through Blessington.
James McGrath, Pat Conlon, Michael Dardis, Sean Farrington, John Flynn and Bob Miller, all of Blessington Men’s Shed.
Cllr Avril Cronin and Anita Moroney Tidy Towns.
John Fitzgerald, judge, and John Horan, Blessington Town Team, on the Blessington Greenway.
Paul Ashmore, CP Adventure, Russborough, and Caroline Fox, Wicklow County Council.
John Horan, Blessington Town Team; Declan Nelson, judge; Cllr Gerry O’Neill, Caithaoirleach, Baltinglass Municipal District; John Fitzgerald, judge; and Caroline Fox, Wicklow County Council.