June 25th last saw the judges visit and adjudicate in Cloughjordan
Sponsored by Tipperary County Council and hosted by the Cloughjordan Community Development Committee, the 2014 entry was a whole community event under the `Eco-Community Initiative` banner and for the first time in the competition, this year Cloughjordan was representing the entire county of Tipperary!
On the morning in Cloughjordan, the judges were guided through a very full schedule. Beginning in the eco-neighbourhood, they were given an introduction to the Eco-Village Project, met with cob self-builders on site, were guided through the workings of the community`s district heating plant, visited the community polytunnel and allotments area and learned more about the Research, Education and Demonstration garden. Following this the judges met with members of Cloughjordan Scouts Troop at their Scout shed and allotment space before moving on to meet with the growers and EVS volunteers from Cloughjordan Community Farm. Next up was a visit to the `Master Composting` education and training space and then it was into the WeCreate Enterprise Centre for a look at the FabLab machines and operations there. After visiting the Cloughjordan Woodfired Bakery, the judges then made their way back up to Main Street, meeting with the interns from the CCDC`s ,`Cloughjordan Mapping Project`on route.
On Main Street, the judges visited a number of local businesses, including a visit to see the ceramic art and pottery at the Black Studio. After the willow sculpture studio, there was a visit to Cloughjordan`s very own craft butcher and independent abattoir.
Then following a visit to The Makery craft centre on lower Main Street the judges crossed the road to the Thomas McDonagh Heritage Centre for the final Pride Of Place presentations. In the centre, pupils from St. Michael`s National School and The Cloughjordan Number 1 National School presented on their schools Green Flags initiatives and their respective `Schools Garden Projects`.
The judges were shown a short slideshow on other projects of interest in the wider Cloughjordan area that couldn`t be visited on the morning, i.e., the Cloughjordan/Scohaboy Raised Bog Restoration LIFE Project and the Knockanacree Community Woodlands Trails Project. Before leaving, the judges received a tour of the heritage centre and it`s exhibits and met with representatives from a wide number of local community groups and organisations. In closing, a special presentation was made by a pupil from each school to the judges of samples of local arts and craft pieces and copies of local heritage publications.
The judges said that they felt
very pleased with the visit and thought the Cloughjordan entry was excellent with a great sense of professionalism, commitment, innovation and pride demonstrated by the group