Arts, Culture & Heritage Category category winner, runner up and certificate recipients with Laois County Council CEO John Mulhoalland and Rosa Flannery of Music Generation Laois. Pic: Michael Scully
The hard work by the community of Durrow was honoured at the Laois Community and Voluntary Awards.
The Durrow Scarecrow Festival Volunteers won the Arts, Culture & Heritage Category category.
The judges said each of the shortlisted groups in this category are doing valuable work to enhance the cultural and heritage of their areas, whether by creating an event which brings a rural community together around an annual project, providing creative outlets for their young people or by transforming the built heritage.
They added that the winners reflect what a small town and village can achieve for their community through year-round volunteer spirit and a belief in what they are doing. The contributions that their group make to local charities while being so open to participation and engagement with the whole community made them stand out.
Evelyn Clancy, Chairperson of the Durrow Development Forum, collected the award on behalf of the Durrow Scarecrow Festival Volunteers at the awards night hosted by the Laois Public Participation Network.
“It's a great achievement and it acknowledges the amount of work that so many people put into the festival. It is a community-run festival no committee could have done this on its own. We have over 100 volunteers over the nine days of the festival,” she told the Leinster Express.
The chairperson said it is an acknowledgement of the whole community. She added funds raised from the festival is ploughed back into local projects with the latest being the building of a community hub.
The Mountrath Youth Theatre was the runner-up in the category. The certificate winners: Errill Tractor Run, Emo Old Schoolhouse Restoration Committee, St Joseph's Accordion Band, Portlaoise.
The awards were presented by John Mulholland, Laois County Council, CEO, and Rosa Flannery of Music Generation Laois who represented the Laois Arts Office.