Sunday, November 26, 2006


Warrenstown College hosts the Annual Pride of Place Awards

Friday saw the Annual Pride of Place Awards take place in Warrenstown Colege, just outside the vilage of Drumree in South Meath. I attended, as did close to 600 others, including the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mary Walace TD, and the County Manager, Mr Tom Dowling.

Despite the wild weather outside, the hall was nice and warm. Food and wine was served up to all the guests. The bill for last year's event was estimated to come to over €50 per head, although from what was on offer I'd be surprised if this year's costs were as high.

I spoke to a few of the resident groups there; there were representatives from across the County. The night is arranged in recognition of the work that they all carry out in their estates over the year. Bearing in mind the fact that the work is all done voluntarily, the free dinner seems to be the least the County Manager can provide these commnuity activists with.

Meath Pride of Place Awards
Myself and Paul Monahan, from Lutterall Hall, Dunboyne.

Because of Meath's funding shortfall (We get 60% per head of what the rest of the county gets in funding) we can't afford some basic public services, such as a proper Parks Department. Consequently, the County shies away from cutting grass in private estates and provides little financial support to home owners. Apart from a small amenity grant and lawnmower grant, the Price of Place awards are the only other way of providing any sort of fiancial assistance to estates.

If Dick Roche would give Meath our fair share then maybe we could give further help to homeowners.

Isn't it terrible that it is the County Manager who gets to say what is spent on the night. Shouldn't it be the Mayor/Cathaoirleach?

We in Westport have done very well in the Tidy Towns competition and to be fair we are good at rewarding the efforts. It is important to celebrate achievements and to make sure that the people responsible get the praise they deserve.
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