Roscrea groups took the honours at this year’s CAVA awards, taking four of the nine community awards at the ceremony in Lorrha. The town’s Tidy Towns group took the Environmental and Heritage award; the Dave Carter Social Inclusion award went to Roscrea Men’s Shed; Mary Conroy of Roscrea Tidy Towns was made Person of the Year; and the Outstanding Achievement award went to the men’s shed.
The Lifetime Achievement award was jointly shared by Michael O’Meara and Sean O’Meara of Lorrha.
CAVA chair Frank Higgins said that a lot of groups had benefited from funding under North Tipperary Leader Partnership over the past five years, with a total of E6m being given to community groups.
“Times have been tough,” he said, “and there are many areas where the Celtic Tiger never came. It might have growled outside the door, but there was a resilience in communities and we are getting back on track and getting our country back working.”
Mayor Ger Darcy said that the work done by voluntary groups was impossible to evaluate in monetery terms, but if stopped communities would grind to a halt.
Announcing the Dave Carter award for Roscrea Men’s Shed, Michelle Putty of North Tipperary Leader Partnership, said that Mr Carter, who died last year, had, long before we heard of men’s sheds, figured it out that men communicate shoulder to shoulder and not face to face. She said that the group began two years ago with 20 members and set about revamping what was an empty shell to make it a warm and welcoming place. From here they had, among other projects, made birdboxes that had been donated to the Sacred Heart Primary School.
Guest speaker former Tipp county hurler Ken Hogan, said that “while you need education and guidance in any job, when we need to get any further we need finance and every village had thrived under NTLP and seen development”.
The following are the winners of 2013 CAVA Community Awards:
Outstanding Achievement: Roscrea Men’s Shed
Environmental and Heritage: Roscrea Tidy Towns
Ars, Culture and Toursim: Borrisokane Gosepl Choir
Dave Carter Scoial Inclusion award: Roscrea Men’s Shed
Youth: Aras Follain’s young girls group
Sport: Borrisokane Community Sports Partnership
Community, Enterprise and Innovation: Drombane / Upperchurch Energy Group
Person of the Year: Mary Conroy, Roscrea Tidy Towns
Lifetime Achievement: Michael O’Meara / Sean O’Meara.