CELEBRATIONS DIDN'T last long before the hard work recommenced in the community of Ballon, who were chosen recently as Carlow's Pride of Place winners 2012.
The announcement was made to over 400 guests in Mount Wolseley Hotel and was met with a mighty roar of celebration.
' The community of Ballon have worked tirelessly over the past few years', said Dr. Betsy Hickey, judge of the Pride of Place competition.
' They have shown great vision for their area, and combined with the commitment of all of the community, they have astounded us with what they have achieved.'
Ballon also took home the top prize in their population category as well as the Penny Pinchers Award and the award for the best maintained main street.
' The labours of the community in Ballon are justly rewarded,' said Tom Barry, County Manager, Carlow County Council.
'Ballon have embraced the concept of interagency working practices over the past few years. They have engaged with Carlow Local Authorities, Carlow Tourism, Carlow County Development Partnership Ltd and Fas, but to name a few agencies, to ensure that despite the economic downturn, their area continues to evolve and progress.'
This year's individual award, which is sponsored by Carlow Community & Voluntary Forum, was won by Raheendoran man, Willie Doran.
The individual award recognises those in our community who go above and beyond the endeavours of all and stand out as an example of what community involvement stands for. Willie had made a huge contribution to his native Raheendoran, and in particular, Kyleeshal where he lives. He works tirelessly on a voluntary basis and with some of his neighbours, have transformed their area. So much so, that Kyleeshal brought home the 'operation transformation' awards at the Pride of Place Ceremony.
The efforts of the Youth in our county did not go unrewarded, with prizes going to the ' Tagsters' youth Group Bagenalstown, New Oak Youth Group, Carlow and schools winners included; Scoil Molaise in Old Leighlin and Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal in Carlow Town.
The village of Clonegal was the winner of the best recycle facilities and BEAM Services Centre won the Best Environmental Strategy 2012.
Ashgrove Residents association in Fenagh and the community of Rathanna shared the prize for the best litter management strategy 2012. Both of these communities have been winners in Carlow's Litter action league.
St. Patrick's Park and Phelan Street, Rathvilly have waged a war on Dog Fouling in their area and their dog fouling signs are not only clearly visible, but placed in strategic locations. The pro active community of Ballyellen had trouble with passing cars throwing out their cigarette butts and have erected signs asking motorists to stop.
The community of Bagenalstown hosted a successful anti graffiti campaign during the summer months. They involved agencies such as the Local Authority, Fas and Tus as well as local volunteers of all ages in a project where they identified graffiti black spots and cleaned and painted these areas. The Tagsters Youth Group also created an eye catching Mural in the Town Park as part of this project.
Jannette O'Brien, Community & Enterprise thanked the communities of Carlow for their commitment to the competition.
She thanked the Local elected Members for ensuring that funding was available for this initiative during difficult economic times.