Fáilte A Chur Fánaid Ghaeltacht

Coiste Gaeltacht Bheo Fhánada welcomed judges to Fanad Gaeltacht and Fanad peninsula.

The small Gaeltacht area in Fanad, with a population of around 1000 people, is well served by many community groups. The judges were told that the success of all the activities from within the Fanad Gaeltacht was dependent on the excellent support and hard work of members of the whole peninsula from Cionn Fhanada to Kerrykeel and beyond.



The groups which were part of the presentation:

  • Coiste Forbartha Fhánada
  • Coiste Forbartha
  • Theach Solais Fhánada
  • Gaeltacht Bheo Fhánada

The speakers commended the success of sporting groups within the area including:

  • Fanáid Aontaithe
  • Gaeil Fhánada
  • Ceiltigh Maoil Ruaidhe
  • Club Óige Fhánada
  • Cumann Coisiochta Fhánada
  • Fanad Community Games
  • Mulroy Soccer Academy

Social and cultural groups also received recognition for their excellent work and achievements to date. Groups like:

  • Fanad Ceili club
  • Banna Ceoil Fhanada
  • Comhaltas Fhánada
  • Readoiri Fhánada
  • Cór na bPaistí

During their visit the judges were shown the maintenance and condition of the various community buildings at:

  • Fanavolty Hall an Ionad Teanga
  • Larionad Fhánada
  • Naoinra Fhanada
  • Playing facilities at Traigh a Locha
  • Ionad Lae and its residential units


After the introductions, the judges were briefed on the clean-up day and the importance of keeping such a scenic area litter free. The fundraising activities of  the Fanad Ceili club and The New Years Day Swim came in for special mention.

After lunch in the Ionad Lae, they made their way to Teach Solais Cionn Fhánada, commenting on the huge opportunity it presents to the Fanad Community in becoming a very successful tourism destination adding that it was one of the highlights of their visits around the country.

While the visit was meant to last 2 hours it was well after that the judges bade farewell to the Fanad peninsula.


Integration Through Collaboration

On July 22, The Judges Visited The Balbriggan Integration Forum

When the judges arrived, they were given a presentation detailing the background of the Balbriggan Integration Forum  in Co. Dublin. Betsy Abu, Chairperson of the Group said:

“The Town Of The Hills” is one of the largest and ethnically diverse towns in Ireland with over 100 nationalities. Balbriggan Integration Forum as an organisation has set out a platform to celebrate this diversity. The Forum cuts across cultures, race and ethnicity in gathering our community, local representatives, statutory and non-statutory bodies to discuss and act on issues affecting our communities.

PoP presentation in cairde

When the Judges had been briefed on the background, achievements and plans of the Forum, they met with representatives of the key agencies involved in the project. Emilia Marchelewska, Cairde/BIF said:

We had a meaningful conversation about the challenges faced by people and agencies operating locally in due course of demographic and cultural shifts, sustainability of BIF and strategic plans. Through its members BIF has huge expertise of local issues and working collectively we are tackling them.


PoP_In front of Cairde

Back row: Shay Barker – FCC, Emmanuel Njume Sone – Cairde, Pat Queenan – FCC, Dave Keogh – Dept of Social Protection, Terry O’Niadh – Pride of Place Judge, Rafe Costigan – FCC, Eoin O’Connor – Pride of Place Judge, Margaret Campbell – HSE, Eugene Moore – FCC Front row: Domhnall Johnston, Sarah Duku – Cairde, Marianna Prontera – Cairde, Paul Reid – Fingal CEO, Emilia Marchelewska – Cairde, Mick Dunne – Fingal County Council.


A Tour Highlighted By Furry Friends

The Judges explored the Cairde Balbriggan building which houses the BIF and talked with representatives of Cairde, Sonas, the Parent & Toddler Group Balbriggan, and Radio Balbriggan. They were shown the allotment areas at the back of the compound and were treated to a dog obedience show by Balbriggan Dogs Club who all performed extremely well!


Sampling Food & Cultural Music

The judges travelled through the town to the Martello tower to observe the historical and natural beauty that was explained by the Balbriggan Historical Society. From there to one of the town’s newest buildings, The Flemington Centre, where the judges were greeted by Roma musicians and sampled foods from all around the world.

Groups and agencies who met the Judges on the day included:

  • Health & Wellbeing Sub Group
  • Social Integration Sub Group
  • Training & Education Sub Group
  • Communication Sub Group
  • Radio Balbriggan
  • Balbriggan Community Council
  • Balbriggan Dogs Club
  • Balbriggan.info
  • Balbriggan Historical Society
  • Balbriggan Women Development Group
  • Cairde Balbriggan
  • Department of Social Protection
  • Family Mirror
  • Foroige
  • Failte Isteach
  • Fingal Leader Partnership
  • Fipika
  • Fingal Ethnic Network
  • Fingal Travellers Organisation
  • Grow
  • HSE
  • Jigsaw
  • Musicantia
  • Sonas

More information on Balbriggan Information Forum.  Or join the Balbriggan community on Facebook.


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.