Silouette graphic representing Tipperary

Judging for Pride of Place Nenagh

Rosemary Joyce, Eddie Sheehy, Nuala Kennedy, Mary Langton, John Briggs, Angela Sheehan in the Community Wellness Garden
Press Release
25 August 2023

Nenagh Town was nominated by Tipperary County Council to represent Tipperary in the 2023 All-Ireland Pride of Place Competition in the category for towns with a population of over 4,000.  Pride of Place is an all-island competition that recognizes improvements made by local communities to create civic pride in their area.  The initiative is co-ordinated by Co-Operation Ireland, Irish Public Bodies and Local Authorities.

The Nenagh entry was entitled ‘WeNenagh’ and was a collaboration of Nenagh community representatives, co-ordinated by Nenagh Municipal District, the Silver Arch Family Resource Centre and Clúid Housing.  The Pride of Place judges, Eddie Sheehy and John Briggs, visited Nenagh on Thursday 10th August.  On arrival in the Civic Offices in Nenagh they were greeted by the Nenagh Ormond Brass Band who gave a fantastic performance with the benefit of the wonderful acoustics in the concourse.

Present on the day were representatives of different sectors of the community including the Nenagh & District Chamber of Commerce, the ETB, the Gardaí, the A-Team, Autism Unit, the Rural, Community & Economic Development Section of Tipperary County Council, Foróige as well as the representatives from the Nenagh Municipal District, the Silver Arch FRC and Clúid Housing.  Rosemary Joyce, District Administrator gave a presentation, putting Nenagh in context as a growing town, Gateway to Lough Derg and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands; a town steeped in heritage with a great sense of community and stories to tell. 

Silver Arch FRC is this year celebrating 50 years, having evolved since 1973 from North Tipperary Community Services and previously Nenagh Social Services, a local charity established by the Diocese of Killaloe and a group of local volunteers.  Amy Spillane advised that the service was established to support disadvantaged families and to provide support for elderly people.  Their Vision is a nurturing and inclusive community in which to live and grow; their Mission is to provide services that are responsive to the needs of individuals, families and communities and their Values are Respect, Trust, Empowerment, Quality. Silver Arch FRC supports families through a variety of programmes including family support services, health and wellbeing services, two preschools, a thrift shop and also support the community wellness garden and its biodiversity initiatives.

Susan Vickers from Clúid Housing, which is the largest approved Housing Body in Ireland, said they were a not for profit charity providing over 10,000 affordable high-quality homes to people in housing need.  As National Sustainability Manager she spoke passionately about their commitment to empowering residents to take ownership of their surrounding environment and of Clúid’s National Greening Strategy.  She praised the residents of Ballygraigue Court, outlining their achievements having won the ‘Best Place to Live’ with Clúid on a number of occasions.  She said they have transformed their Green into a community friendly biodiverse hub with assistance from Trees on the Land, the Silver Arch Family Resource Centre, the Tidy Towns Committee, the County Council and a number of businesses and individuals.  The concept has been embraced by residents and they now have a wildflower garden where over 6,000 bulbs have been planted, a butterfly garden, bird feeders, native Irish trees, an orchard and raised beds.  There are areas to support and facilitate children with additional needs and they continue to grow and develop their safe, biodiverse garden in line with Clúid’s Corporate Climate Strategy.

Following the presentations, the judges travelled to various locations in the town.  At the Community Wellness Garden on Ashe Road they met with Nuala Kennedy and Mary Langton of Nenagh Tidy Towns Committee who gave them a tour of the garden and spoke of the various activities and initiatives undertaken there.  On next to Nenagh Tourist Office where u13s World Champions Irish dancers, Lucy Pardy and Keelan Chute from the Flynn O’ Kane Academy of Irish Dance, performed.  Following a tour of the facility the group moved on to Nenagh Castle and the Castle Garden.  The final visit of the day was to Ballygraigue Court to see on the ground all that has been done and to sample freshly baked scones with blackcurrant jam made from the produce of their orchard.  Representatives of the residents showed the group all the areas where planting has been done, the signage erected, the play areas and explained how the children of the estate have embraced biodiversity and how it has benefited all the community.


The judging season for the Pride of Place Competition is from June through August. The judges will meet in September to decide the winners which will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on November 10th at the Armagh City Hotel.  Irrespective of the results, it was clear on the day that Nenagh is a winner in terms of having a sense of place and displaying pride in its people, its heritage, its town.