The Pride of Place judges got a very large and warm welcome in St Patricks Villas, Castleconnell | Picture: Keith Wiseman
ST PATRICK’S Villas in Castleconnell has a hard act to follow in the IPB Pride of Place competition as nearby Scanlan Park finished runner-up in 2015 but their neighbours hope to go one better.
The all-island event acknowledges the work that communities are doing all over Ireland.
St Patrick’s Villas and Northside Youth Space in Ballynanty were the two projects selected by Limerick City and County Council to be the county’s representatives this year.
The red carpet was rolled out for two judges – Donal Connolly, Waterford and William Beattie, Tyrone – on their visit.
They began in Castleconnell with a presentation in the ACM Centre by members of the St Patrick’s Villas Residents Association followed by a tour of the housing estate.
Mr Beattie praised the “warm welcome” which they received in the village and complimented residents in maintaining the estate to such a “high standard”.
After lunch the judges visited the second of the local entrants - Northside Youth Space in Ballynanty.
They were given a very informative presentation by Damian Landy, manager of the Northside Youth Space, and Stacey Lyons, Limerick Youth Service and members of the youth club.
This was followed by a tour of the building displaying the vast array of services being provided in the centre - Ballynanty Youth Club, Youth Mental Health Project and Garda Youth Diversion Programme.
Mr Connolly said: “Northside Youth Service are providing an excellent service and nothing was more important than providing a good service for the youth in order to instil a sense of civic pride and a spirit of volunteerism.”
He also complimented Limerick Youth Service on the building and stated that it was a “fantastic asset” to the area.
St Patrick’s Villas will fly the flag in the housing estates category, with Northside Youth Space selected in community based youth initiative.
The focus of Pride of Place is people “coming together to shape, change and improve daily lives in their communities”.
Run in conjunction with local authorities North and South, it aims to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions that communities make to society along with generating awareness, respect and inclusion for every facet of society.
The winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Donegal in December.
Limerick has an impressive track record with Broadford, Kilteely and Castleview Estate in Newcastle West winning in recent years.