WICKLOW has won a major international 'liveable communities' award beating off cities and districts in Taiwan, England, Poland and Peru in the process.
The LivCom Awards are endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme and have the objective of improving the quality of life of individual citizens through the creation of "liveable communities."
County Wicklow took the Gold award in the Category for areas with a population up to 150,000. Wicklow came first followed by Putrajaya, Malaysia and Yingge District, New Taipei City, Taiwan.
It is the second time that County Wicklow has won a LivCom Award. In 2010 County Wicklow achieved 2nd place and received Gold in the prestigious Awards.
The latest award was presented at a ceremony in the City Fort, Al Ain City, UAE, to a Wicklow delegation comprising Cllr Pat Casey, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council; Cllr Grainne McLoughlin, Cllr George Jones and Mr Eddie Sheehy, Wicklow County Manager.
A Comprehensive Submission for Wicklow was put together by LivCom Project Co- Ordinator, Cllr Grainne McLaughlin, who worked on the project on a voluntary basis. Many of the other submissions to the competition were prepared by consultants who were paid for this work.
Speaking of Wicklow's win, Cllr Casey said:
"It is all about quality of life. The world's best cities offer its residents a combination of comfort, convenience, entertainment and engagement. County Wicklow has all of the above, as well as its spectacular scenery. And this LivCom Award is an international confirmation of what Wicklow has to offer."
Wicklow County Manager, Mr Eddie Sheehy, commented:
"This is a fantastic achievement for Wicklow. Everybody knows that Wicklow is a wonderful place to visit, to work in and in which to reside. Participation in the LivCom Awards allows us to showcase the County to the world. Achieving first place in this international competition will assist in the promotion of Wicklow to tourists and businesses. Cllr George Jones stated that: "County Wicklow's success in this high profile competition again places the County high up in the 'must visit' destinations. Working in collaboration with Fáilte Ireland and other Agencies, we hope to see a further increase in tourists coming to our beautiful County.
Speaking of Wicklow's Grainne McLoughlin said that:
"From my journey across Wicklow since this project started last February, it has been a joy to see that Wicklow is much more than just beautiful landscapes, it is a County of wonderful people, doing great things for their communities and visitors alike"
In its category, Wicklow came up against entries from cities, areas and towns across the world with over 50 countries represented.