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21 Jan 2022

'Sound' Limerick town scoops €10,000 prize in national competition

'Sound' Limerick town scoops €10,000 prize in national competition

Robert Browne, Mary Flynn, Alison Curtis - Presenter, Weekend Breakfast on Today FM, Noreen Cotter

ABBEYFEALE has been named the overall winner of the Cadbury and Today FM Sound Town Award for 2021.

Judges chose from seven entries across the country, each embodying Ireland’s worldwide reputation for kindness, generosity, and community spirit.  

The sense of community spirit in Abbeyfeale shone through with the development of a community shop, An Siopa Milseán.

Following the closure of a local sweet shop in December 2020, Abbeyfeale natives, led by Noreen Cotter, set out to help the local community. They began developing An Siopa Milseán, using antique display items from an old grocery shop on New Street.

During the project, they managed to preserve a host of items from the 1920’s shop, from Lifebuoy soap and paraffin lamps to old Christmas selection boxes and weighing scales for sweets.

After countless weekends and evenings of hard work, An Siopa Milseán opened its doors on Easter Sunday, 2021. 

The opening day brought great joy in the town and lifted lockdown spirits within the community.  As well as being a lifeline for some, An Siopa Milseán has given local bakers and producers an opportunity to sell their produce, allowing locals to support their community and shop local.

Upon receiving the news that Abbeyfeale had won the top prize, Noreen said: “We were just thrilled to have been selected as Cadbury's Sound Town winner. There were so many other deserving entries we honestly couldn't believe it when the zoom link came through. People keep popping in to the Siopa Milseán congratulating us. It has given all in Abbeyfeale a welcome boost. From the bottom of our hearts, Míle Buíochas.”

Commenting on the announcement, Today FM’s Weekend Breakfast presenter Alison Curtis said: “Each year our Sound Town campaign with Cadbury Ireland continues to surprise me - every county this year had multiple towns nominated each with their own wonderfully unique story of their strong sense of community spirit. It is a wonderful campaign and even more important and special during these last challenging few years - communities have come together in remarkable ways to the betterment of everyone who lives there.”

‘Sound Town’ is a Today FM and Cadbury Ireland initiative, which aims to shine a light on what makes Irish communities so unique, by awarding a ‘Sound Town’ status to communities that embody generosity, kindness and general soundness.

Throughout the year, monthly winning towns are selected by Today FM’s Alison Curtis and presented with an official ‘Sound Town’ plaque.

Each monthly winning town will be shortlisted for a chance to win €10,000, when the overall 2021 Sound Town winner is announced at the end of the year. 

Tricia Burke of Cadbury Ireland, said: “This year has been another challenging year for towns across the country, and it has been incredibly inspiring to see the unique sense of community spirit come to life in such difficult circumstances. All seven finalist towns demonstrated the generosity, kindness and caring atmosphere that makes Ireland’s communities so special – and the people of Abbeyfeale are extremely worthy winners of this year’s overall award."

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