‘A MARVELLOUS community’, was one of the many compliments uttered by the judges, who visited Durrow last Friday, judging for the all Island national Pride of Place competition 2012.
The pride of the local people in Durrow was displayed in the best possible way, as the judges were treated to visions of Durrow, past present and future, through the guises of pageants, scarecrows, castles and bicycles. Having won the competition in their category in 2006, Durrow was entered by Laois County Council in the “Previous Winners” category this year; a category created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Pride of Place competition.
Last Friday they boasted festivals and events, fundraising, the support of the local community for young and old alike, tourism initiatives, websites and technology advances, walking and cycling routes, while also displaying the hard work and commitment of the local people to making Durrow the best place to live, work and visit.
Sarah Gaughan, Caroline Sheppard, Cllr John Bonham and Fergal Hassett performed a locally scripted pageant to demonstrate Durrow’s successes and developments in history but also since 2006, when they were awarded the coveted prize. Not too dampened by the inclement weather, eleven scarecrow men, reminiscent of that famous New York photo, looked on from their perch on scaffolding over the gates of Durrow Castle, as the judges were given a tour of the town and its locations, meeting children and adults alike along the way.
The judges, officials and elected members were introduced to over 40 clubs and organisations in the town, as well as local people, business owners and passers by, who wanted to tell them how much Durrow has improved and developed in the 6 years since winning the competition.
Evelyn Clancy, chairperson of Durrow Development Forum thanked the judges for visiting Durrow and also thanked all the local people who helped out in preparation for the day. Donal Connolly and William Beatty thanked the community for such a wonderful day, complimenting them on their progress over the past 6 years, and wishing them the best in their future endeavours.
Cathaoirleach, Cllr Paul Mitchell stated, on behalf of Laois County Council, how proud we are of our heritage and our local communities, Durrow being such a wonderful example of how communities, by working together, can achieve anything. The results of the All-Island competition, which attracts entries from north and south of the border, will be announced by Co-operation Ireland at a special gala event in Limerick in November.