Winner: Ray, Co Donegal

Summary
The Ray Community Group was formed in 1986 by members of the Ray and Glenalla community in response to a lack of recreational and sporting opportunities for its young people. Although the group was originally set up to be used by young people it has since developed into an organisation that caters for all members of the community, toddlers, children, young people, adults and older people. The Ray Community Centre was completed in 2012 and now hosts a variety of activities. These help to enhance the lives of the local community by providing an opportunity to attend events and experience different activities at the Centre. This also helps to prevent social isolation and creates a central meeting point for community members. Different generations of the local community are represented on the committee. It is a ‘bottom up’ community group that encourages members to advise what they would like the group to get involved in either at the Ray Community Centre or in the local area.

Community Contact: Mairead Cranley mairead.cranley@donegalcoco.ie

Citation
This is a small community with a big heart. Most cultural, recreational, social and sporting activities are transacted in the community centre, which is at the heart of community. The building of the community centre, which is debt free, is a remarkable achievement in itself for a community with a population base of less than 300. Attending events and experiencing different activities at the centre help in a very real way to prevent social isolation and creates a central meeting point for community members. The judges were highly impressed with a very proactive and ‘bottom up’ community group.

Runners Up: Ballintubber, Co Roscommon and Kilmeedy, Co Limerick