Golden praise for Limerick environment contest

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A MAJOR environmental initiative, backed by the Limerick Leader, was hailed as “one of the best things” the council has done for a long time this week.

A MAJOR environmental initiative, backed by the Limerick Leader, was hailed as “one of the best things” the council has done for a long time this week.

The Going for Gold scheme runs every summer, and pits community groups against each other in a bid to win a share in €50,000.

The aim is to raise awareness of environmental issues, get people involved in their own areas, and have fun while volunteering.

It is backed by philanthropist JP McManus.

At this week’s environmental committee meeting, director of service Caroline Curley reported that 30 groups from the city took part in the Tidy Town competition - which feeds into the Going for Gold scheme - and she called for an increase in this.

To this end, City Hall will host a special workshop on Thursday, February 21, outlining the benefits to community groups.

Mayor Gerry McLoughlin said while the scheme was overall a very positive one, some groups were left disappointed by the decision of the judges.

“Twelve people in the Southill centre were outside every day - they worked tirelessly for eight months. Some of them were in trouble with the law before. They waited for the results, and when they came through, they were disappointed,” he reported, “What are we basing these results on?”

Ms Curley acknowledged there are “winners and losers” in the annual competition.

“But we like to think they are all winners, because people are showing such pride in their areas,” she said.

Sean Griffin, who sits as a sectoral interest on the committee described Going for Gold as a “resounding success”.

Cllr Maurice Quinlivan encouraged as many communities to get involved as possible.

“This is one of the best things that has been done in the council for years. It brings communities together,” he told the meeting.

For more information on entering the 2013 Going for Gold competition, contact Limerick City Council at 061-407100.