LIMERICK County Council has announced the winners of the annual County Limerick Burial Grounds Awards.
Twenty-two community groups and voluntary organisations from across County Limerick received awards. Kilkeedy Burial Ground Extension was named overall winner of the modern category, while Athlacca Burial Ground took the top prize in the ancient category.
The awards ceremony at County Hall also featured a presentation by John Arnold a local historian, genealogist and author of The Headstone Inscriptions of Gortroe Cemetery Co Cork.
The annual awards event celebrates the work of voluntary committees in Council graveyards throughout the county. Each year the Council supports local burial ground committees by means of a modest grant. This year over 100 groups maintaining 162 burial grounds received aid.
In 2006 it was decided to inaugurate an awards system with the aim of highlighting and rewarding groups who have shown particular commitment and initiative in following best practice in their work, but the awards are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the efforts of all groups.
The burial grounds are judged in two categories, Ancient and Modern, and different criteria apply.
Michael Griffin, administrative officer, Limerick County Council, complimented the award winners and thanked them for their commitment to enhancing the overall appearance of their respective communities.
"By hosting these awards each year Limerick County Council is showing its appreciation of the wonderful work being carried out by local burial ground committees throughout the County.
"Graveyards are sacred places with a very special function that sets them apart from the everyday things in life and by maintaining them local committees are continuing to promote this value," added Mr Griffin.
The following were in the winners in the County Limerick Burial Grounds Awards:
Modern Category: 1. Kilkeedy Burial Ground (extension); 2. St. Joseph Burial Ground, Castleconnell
Ancient Category: 1. Towerhill Burial Ground; 2. Annagh Burial Ground; 3. Clounanna Burial Ground
Modern Category: 1. Patrickswell (Lough Gur) Burial Ground; 2. Kilflynn Burial Ground; 3. Anglesborough Burial Ground
Ancient Category: 1. Athlacca Burial Ground; 2. Athneasy Burial Ground; 3. Cahercorney Burial Ground
Newcastle West Area
Modern Category: 1. Calvary Burial Ground, Newcastle West; 2. Monagea Burial Ground (extension); 3. Athea Burial Ground
Ancient Category: 1. Killoughlehane Burial Ground; 2. Grange Burial Ground Committee; 3. Ardagh Burial Ground Committee
Modern Category: 1. St Nicholas Burial Ground, Adare; 2. Crecora Burial Ground
Ancient Category: 1. Castletown Burial Ground; 2. Lismakerry Burial Ground Committee; 3. Robertstown Burial Ground Committee