Winner – Bonfire Night Community Volunteers
This is the 10th year of the Bonfire Night Initiative in Cork City. June 23rd – St John’s Eve – is traditionally linked to the summer solstice but the night had become synonymous with anti-social behaviour and environmental degradation. Communities across Cork came together to organise family events in the City’s parks to provide an alternative to the illegal bonfire parties. With support from the City Council and others they looked to change the culture around bonfire night. Large-scale family fun nights are now held in five city parks – as well as some smaller events. The events are all different but might include music, entertainment, face painting, bouncy castles and arts and crafts. Some parks have maintained the tradition of fires and DOWTCHA, a local arts group work with young people to create fire sculptures. Now, over 50 community groups are involved in organising events which attract over 10,000 people – and fire service call outs have halved!
Group Contact: Sandra O’Meara Sandra_omeara@corkcity.ie
This winning entry captures the essence of a community working to instil a sense of pride in their place. The Local community worked closely with the City Council, An Garda Síochána and the Fire Service to organize alternative events on the night of June 23rd having faced the challenges of numerous incidents of anti-social behaviour. The community initiatives centred on Family Fun Nights with social activities for all age groups. 5 major events are now organized in different parts of the city, with input from some 40 separate community groups. In the eyes of the judges, this is a community initiative worth celebrating.
Runner Up: Let’s Get Galway Growing, Galway City