Erica’s Fairy Forest in Cootehill, was the recipient of a special award at the IPB Pride of Place Awards in association with Co-operation Ireland on Saturday night, 2nd December in Letterkenny.
Published on: 04 Dec 2017
The Pride of Place awards acknowledge the achievements and the invaluable work undertaken by volunteers and those involved in local community development, and Erica’s Fairy Forest was one of four Cavan nominees, alongside Extern, Windows Publications, and Bawnboy Workhouse, Men’s Shed and Tidy Towns.
Located at Halton’s Amenity in Cootehill, Erica’s Fairy Forest was conceived in memory of Erica O’Draighneain - who lost her battle with childhood cancer in 2016 – as a thank-you from Erica’s parents to the people of Cootehill for their care and support.
Commending the project, the award judges said the forest was “a wonderful tribute to the memory of Erica and the challenge of childhood cancer”.
“This community based project has given tremendous solace and support to Erica’s family and friends and to the wider community.”
Sponsored by IPB Insurance, the Pride of Place competition was initiated 15 years ago through a Co-operation Ireland programme to acknowledge the invaluable work undertaken by communities and groups across the island of Ireland. It has grown into the largest competition recognising community development achievements. RTÉ presenter Aengus MacGrianna was MC for the ceremony, which was attended by over 800 people.
Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Cllr Paddy McDonald, said the award was fitting recognition for a project, “that captures the very essence of community spirit”.
“Erica’s Fairy Forest epitomises the solidarity and co-operation that are at the core the Pride of Place Awards. This magical place is a wonderful memento of Erica’s life, and I’m delighted to see her parents, Natasha and Ciarán, and the many volunteers who made Erica’s Fairy Forest a reality, acknowledged here tonight,” said Cllr McDonald.
Sinéad Tormey, Pride of Place co-ordinator with Cavan County Council, who nominated Erica’s Fairy Forest and the three other Cavan entries, said the award was well-deserved, noting that all four nominees could take great pride in their contribution to their communities.
“The beauty of these awards is that the real reward is the fantastic work that is being done at a community level and the benefits that are reaped from that work. So in that sense, every nominee really is a winner,” said Ms Tormey.
Photo Caption: Representatives from Erica's Fairy Forest receive their Special Award at the IPB Insurance Pride of Place Awards, held in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal on Saturday night. Pictured are (from left) Dr Christopher Moran, Chairman Co-operation Ireland; Tom Dowling, Chairperson, Pride of Place; Tommy Ryan, Chief Executive, Cavan County Council; Natasha and Ciaran O'Draighneain, Erica’s Fairy Forest; Michael McGreal, Deputy Chairman, Irish Public Bodies; Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Councillor Paddy McDonald, and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Gerry McMonagle. Photo: Lorcan Doherty