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Two great successes for Kerry projects

Marilyn Counihan from KASI, Killarney, holds the Pride of Place, Community Resilience award. Included are Dr Christopher Moran (left), Chair, Co-operation Ireland, George Jones, Chair, IPB Insurance, Mayor of Kerry Cllr Jimmy Moloney, Kerry County Council CEO Moira Murrell and KASI members Sheila Casey and Seán O’Grady.
Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan

A wonderful Killarney community project and an innovative group in west Kerry have both won all-Ireland Pride of Place awards, despite intense competition from all over the country.

The Killarney Asylum Seekers’ Initiative (KASI) won the community resilience award while the Dingle Peninsula 2030 project won the climate action accolade.

The glittering awards ceremony, the first since 2019 due to the pandemic, was held in the Gleneagle-INEC Arena in Killarney on Monday night.

400 community volunteers were in attendance with Marty Whelan the celebrity host and Killarney’s own Liam O’Connor providing the after dinner entertainment.

Guest: Liam O’Connor
Host: Marty Whelan

The judges spoke of how impressed they were by the work being carried out by KSAI.

“In addition to creating employment, raising revenue and facilitating integration, this initiative also addresses social, economic and environmental issues with the aim of changing consumers behaviour on environmental issues, such as packaging waste and food waste,” the citation read.

“Relying heavily on volunteers from Killarney town, the centre has developed a strong working relationship with public and private sector agencies and has earned an outstanding reputation with the town’s people.”

They also spoke highly of the work being carried out by Corca Dhuibhne 2030/Dingle Peninsula.

“This project is a very special lifestyle changing initiative in an area of nearly 600 square metres and with a population of nearly 13,000.

Corca Dhuibhne 2030 project member Deirdre de Bhailís from Dingle Hub with the Pride of Place award for climate action with Christopher Moran, left, Chair of Co-operation Ireland and George Jones, Chair, IPB Insurance

“The high level of support, community buy-in, master-planning, strategic approach and partnership will ensure this initiative is a pathfinder model for other communities to follow,” the adjudicators said.

The Reeks District project was nominated in the islands and coastal communities category but were to ultimately miss out.

Sponsored by IPB Insurance, the Pride of Place competition was initiated 19 years ago though a Co-operation Ireland programme to acknowledge the invaluable work undertaken by volunteers and those involved in local community development.  involved in local community development.

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