26 October 2019, Saturday 1pm
By Bryan Smyth
Representatives from the heritage group based on a tiny island off the coast of Cork, Bere Island Projects Group, were put through their paces as part of the judging for the finals of the National Lottery Good Causes Awards which take place in Dublin on Saturday 2nd November.
The judging panel, chaired by broadcaster and businesswoman Norah Casey, last week spent two days in Athlone meeting the 36 finalists from all over Ireland.
The National Lottery Good Causes Awards are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities. Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country.
The Bere Island Projects Group is a community group working to sustain the island population through the creation of employment, promoting community initiatives and supporting local businesses. The group used their National Lottery funding, distributed by the Heritage Council, to create and implement the Bere Island Conservation Plan to protect the landscape and heritage of the Island. The group will contest the Heritage category on the night.
The awards have six categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community and Youth. A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award to be announced on the night at the Awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done in the promotion of the Irish Language.
Each national category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get an additional €25,000 on top of this. The winners will be announced at a Gala Awards event in the Clayton Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Saturday 2nd November.
The judging panel also included Nuala Carey, Lotto presenter Michael Hayes, Head of Marketing at the National Lottery, Paul Bradley, PR & Corporate Communications Manager of the National Lottery, Jennifer Crowe, CSR manager of the National Lottery and Seamus Griffin, CEO of the Griffin Retail Group and representing the National Lottery Retail Council. The judging took place in the Hodson Bay Hotel.
Awards chairman Norah Casey said the judging panel had an incredibly hard job deciding on the winners for the awards and said: “We were blown away by the 36 presentations. Each of the groups we met are doing amazing work in their communities and were all winners in their own rights. The work that is being done all over Ireland with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding is truly humbling and outstanding. I wish the representatives from all 36 organisations all the best of luck on the night”
More information on the finalists and the National Lottery Good Causes Awards can be found at www.lottery.ie/goodcausesawards