Laois Community & Voluntarty Awards Environment Category. PIcture: Michael Scully
Hard work, collaboration and vision were the key reasons why the Abbeyleix Bog Project was the winner in the Environment Category at the Laois Community and Voluntary Awards.
The judges in this section were very impressed by the group's efforts and said that it is evident that its members were not afraid of hard work.
The winning citation said the project is a "true reflection of community-led community development" while having the benefits of collaboration with other agencies and organisations.
"This project is all about encouraging people to protect their wetlands for now and future generations. This group have a clear vision for the future of Abbeyleix which is evident in their strategic plan. Congratulations to everyone involved. Your commitment will lead to greater things," said the citation.
Hugh Shepperd and Clare Coffey were among the group members who attended the awards. They are among a group of local volunteers who have worked with others to develop an amenity for people, wildlife and science.
“It is a reward for all the hard work by the volunteers who helped out on the bog over the past years and the administration,” said Hugh.
“It is good to get recognition of the efforts and the other groups involved,” said Clare.
The Environment Category Runner-up was the Mountrath Development Association. The Certificate winners were: Ballacolla Tidy Towns, Durrow Tidy Towns, Irish Wildlife Trust Laois Offaly Branch, Mountrath Development Association, Mountmellick Flood Relief, Portlaoise Cemetery Committee.
Laois County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr John King and Ann Carroll, of the Environment Office in Laois County Council, presented the award at the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise.