THE twelve finalists in the Limerick Going for Gold community challenge have been confirmed after six wildcard entries were selected by the judges.
Athea, Limerick South City Residents Association, Croom, Caherdavin, O’Malley-Keys and Hospital will join each of the finalists who were selected in a series of weekly public text votes, during which a record number of votes cast.
The weekly winners were Kilteely, Broadford, Kilfinane, Anglesboro, Rathkeale and Castleconnell.
“With 36 shortlisted communities and just six weekly winners it was an incredibly tough decision to select the wildcards. While it is tough on those who did not make it, everyone who took part is a winner,” said Limerick Leader journalist, David Hurley, who was one of the judges along with Gerry Behan and Lorraine Power.
Since the last of the weekly text votes, the judges have travelled the length and breadth of the county as part of the judging process.
“This is my second year involved in Going for Gold and the standard this year was definitely higher than last year which is fantastic and it is great to see the effort that is being made in towns and villages right across the county,” said Gerry Behan .
Funded by the JP McManus Charitable Foundation, this year’s Going for Gold initiative has been extended county-wide for the first time and the winner of the community challenge will take home the top prize of €10,000.
Richard Lynch of ILoveLimerick.com has been confirmed as the host of this year’s grand final, which takes place at the Strand Hotel on October 20, next.
In addition to the community challenge, a number of other awards will also be presented on the night.
These include the Limerick in Bloom category, which has been included in the Limerick Going for Gold campaign for the first time and Best Front Garden Competition, which is sponsored by the Parkway Shopping Centre.
There will also be prizes for those communities which have entered in the national tidy towns competition - the results of which will be announced on September 28, next.
Sinead McDonnell, environmental awareness officer with Limerick City and County Council,says the competition between communities has been fierce.
“Communities are taking it super seriously, it’s unbelievable and it’s fantastic and it’s great for Limerick across the board really,” she said adding that the success of the Team Limerick Cleanup (TLC) event on Good Friday has inspired communities across Limerick.
For more information log onto limerick.ie/goingforgold.