Winner: The Community of Tydavnet, Co Monaghan
Tydavnet is a thriving community. One of the first in Ireland to develop a Parish Development Plan back in the 1950’s, it has been working tirelessly ever since. The community has a deep sense of identity and a regard for local heritage, and has developed a close association with Geel in Belgium, home to St Dympna (after whom Tydavnet is named) after she left Ireland. The people of Tydavnet know they live in a special community, and they take a lot of pride in keeping it that way, ensuring that newcomers are brought into the heart of community activity and that the next generation grows up with the strong sense of contributing to their locality. This is a community of “do-ers” – two years ago, over the course of a couple of weekends and powered only by a few sausages on a barbeque, local people turned out in force to restore and refurbish the derelict Cornagilta School, which now hosts regular storytelling and ceili nights.
The judges were impressed in every respect from the moment they arrived in this small village in north County Monaghan until their departure. Belonging to Tydavnet is something that means so much to every member of this industrious, generous and thoroughly engaging community. Involvement at all levels is key and this is reciprocated with support from the council and other agencies. Huge pride is demonstrated in every aspect of life. The respect and pride for heritage and culture was palpable as was the care for people in the community who needed it most.