Kiln Lane residents with Laois County Council officials
A combined group of Laois housing estates have been crowned All Ireland housing estates winners at a gala awards ceremony.
Kiln Lane Residents Association, made up of residents from Kiln Lane, Clonbarrow and An Garáin estates in Mountrath, are this week celebrating their amazing win, at the IPB Pride of Place awards last Saturday night in Mount Errigal Letterkenny.
The award recognises the extraordinary community spirit and level of activity on Kiln Lane, dating back to the 1980s, currently led by committee chairperson Margaret Moore.
Along with the hard work of local volunteers grasscutting and planting, they have organised very successful estate events, including a 1916 commemorative event and family fun days, all extremely well supported locally.
Educational efforts for young and old can be seen in their horticultural projects, poly tunnel and other programmes. Their community building houses a mother and toddler group and provides a space for activities including arts and crafts and Glee club. They opened their playground and games area in 2009. Housing up to three generations in some cases, this estate displays great respect for family legacy and commitment to ensuring the estate’s pride, illustrated by a number of local awards.
The Judges' citation read as follows:
"On entering this winning complex, the judges were immensely impressed with the wonderful colour in the floral displays and flowerbeds, the neat and tidy grassed areas, open spaces and the absence of litter. The residents group caters for the needs of all age groups from toddlers to the elderly. It is gratifying to notice that the elderly are actively involved in all activities. The community building in the complex hosts a wide range of activities for children and young people and generally acts as a hub for all the activities in the estates. The residents association works closely with the Council and the estate is a great credit to the residents. Without doubt this winning entry is a very attractive and rewarding place to live."
Cllr James Kelly from Mountrath was at the launch, and is thrilled for his community's win.
"Kiln Lane Residence Association had a very pro active committee ably led be Margaret Moore with tremendous co operation and funding by the great staff in Laois County Council which has led to the Estate been crowned all Ireland champions 2017. This was a great night for all the voluntary work of communities all over the island of Ireland.
"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. It is also important that the community demonstrates real partnership with their local council and shows that all sectors of the community are included," Cllr Kelly said.
It was the first time in several years that Laois County Council entered communities in the 32 county competition. Rathdowney Errill community also entered the competition this year.
Runners Up: Brawny Housing Estate, Athlone, Co. Westmeath and St. Patrick’s Villas, Castleconnell, Co. Limerick
Below at the awards: Patrick Guidera, Tom Dowling Chairman Pride of Place, Noel Wrest, Stephen Moore. Front Nicola O’Connor, Statia Guidera, Margaret Moore, Anne Marie Maher Laois County Council and Cllr James Kelly.