Wicker Huts, Sunny Weather, and Music In The Air

Kilberry Amenity Heritage Group in Meath played host to the judges on a sunny day in July.


The Judges arrived to a warm welcome from the community, and with the sun high in the sky, they enjoyed a tour of Kilberry village. The tour consisted of local amenities such as:

  • Village garden where local resident Ciara was appointed to speak a few words about the work they’ve done this year
  • Wicker huts and animals that serve as local monuments to the residents
  • Bar/lounge for a presentation about Kilberry, Co. Meath


Gifts And Music

From there the tour took on wheels as they took a bus down to Torro, where the local team played football. Robbie Meehan, a local author gave the judges a copy of his new book and spoke about the local area.

From there, it was on to the local church which was decorated with photos of events that have taken place around the area.   With a choir singing from a balcony above, entertainers from Tinsel Town Stage School, as well as a host of local musicians, it was a really enjoyable presentation.


The day ended with a presentation from representatives form the Phylis Byrne Brazilian Fund Group. They discussed how they raise funds and promote good relationships.

We hope the judges enjoyed their day as much as we enjoyed showing them around.

For more information, visit the Kilberry Amenity Group Facebook.







Giving While Living

On 14 July, Judges visited the Sliabh Sneacht Centre, Co. Donegal

The judges arrived at the Donegal Peninsula of Inishowen early in the day and were greeted by Centre Director Kevin Doherty. The day began with a tour of the surrounding areas of Sliabh Sneacht with breathtaking sights from the high mountain leading up to the Heritage Centre. The Sliabh Sneacht Centre building itself is a community centre, and was developed to create a social recreational space for the local Donegal community.

The three primary areas of focus for the centre are:
• Heritage
• Community
• Outdoor Pursuits

The organisers told judges:

The centre offers a cultural, heritage, educational and corporate space for the local community which will provide services that will benefit all.

The theme for the Sliabh Sneacht Centre Donegal project is ‘Giving While Living’, inspired by the community’s support of the project in the midst of their everyday lives. They raised €200,000 to match the funding of €385,000 from the Inishowen Development Partnership to begin the development of the centre. And there was great support from some unemployed skilled tradesmen who gave their free time to aid the construction of the site.




Community Spirit

The centre opened officially on 12 September 2014, but at the time of the judge’s visits in July the centre was still in its latter stages of completion.

The judges toured the centre and were briefed on the aims and objectives of the project.

The Sliabh Sneacht Centre Donegal will serve as a community for the local area. It will benefit all age groups with a variety of ongoing activities including:

  • Fitness classes
  • Craft classes
  • After-school clubs
  • Over 50’s clubs
  • Training courses

One training course which stood out was the Mobile Robotics Programme facilitated by an Engineering Lecturer from LYIT. It is a club to encourage students, unemployed individuals and the general public to learn how to build and programme a robot in order to develop skills and enhance their career prospects.
There is also a special room dedicated to the history and heritage of the community which was named the Tip O’Neill Suite.




The Grand Opening

The tour concluded with a short concert by ‘The Henry Girls’ and Dinny McLaughlin followed by the official opening ceremony of the centre.

The judges were then told about the features of the centre which make it one of the most carbon efficient buildings in the country, including the Air Source Heating System. The System draws heat from the outside air and powers the hot water and under floor heating throughout the building.

The judges were brought on a short walk along the recently developed hill roads which lead to Sliabh Sneacht, Inishowen’s highest mountain.




For more Information, visit the Sliabh Sneacht Centre Donegal Facebook Page.


Supporting Local Enterprise

bal2The Judges Visited the Ballybane Enterprise Centre, Co. Galway in July!

The Ballybane Enterprise Centre is a charity organisation dedicated to providing ongoing community and business support for indigenous businesses in Galway. They work to foster relations between community and enterprise and their focus is to provide infrastructure and backing for small businesses and start-ups.
Currently the centre serves a number of clients which include:

  • The Irish Heart Foundation
  • Galway Community Counselling
  • Waste Management Solutions
  • LORG fine art print makers




Nurturing Small Business

The judges met with Michael Smyth, the manager of the centre and were given a tour of the centre and information on what Ballybane does for small businesses in Galway. The judges learnt about the facilities the centre has for nurturing of local enterprise, including:

  • Training and conference rooms
  • A charity retreat centre in Galway
  • Business units
  • Holistic suites

The judges left Ballybane with a few ideas as to where they could hold their next retreat!




For more information, visit the Ballybane Enterprise Centre Website or the Ballybane Enterprise Centre Facebook.