By Dan Walsh at Monageer
The industrious community-based Monageer Parish Grotto Group gathered for the usual Saturday morning maintenance session today, however, it turned out to be a celebratory occasion with the official presentation of the runner-up Pride of Place award won in 2021.
Cllr Donal Kenny, Cathaoirleach of Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council, was on hand to congratulate and present the inscribed glass award to Liam Nolan, secretary, on behalf of the group members. Also present was Very Rev. Fr. William Cosgrave, parish priest,
Cllr Kenny praised Michael Sweeney and recalled the good work he had done in Craanford. “Michael was a big help to us in Craanford and he will stay with you to the top! These things don’t happen by accident. It needs a lot of work from people on the ground. The more you do the more you have to do. Best of luck for more success in the future.”
Cllr Pip Breen was district Cathaoirleach when Monageer were announced runners-up in the 32-county ‘Grotto and Sensory Garden’ section at the awards night in Killarney in 2022, but due to the Covid-19 regulations the official presentation awaited until now.
“Great credit to the committee and all involved for the wonderful work that you do, and continue to do,” said Cllr Breen. Also, in attendance and lending support was Cllr Willie Kavanagh.
Liam Nolan echoed the thoughts of previous speakers and acknowledged the support of Wexford County Council and Michael Sweeney on this project. “It’s unbelievable the amount of work that goes in behind the scenes, trying to get the application right, then following up with an interview ‘which was a zoom’ call, he recalled.
Mr Nolan continued; “This was a 32-county competition and to come second was a major achievement. It’s a pity weren’t there on the night – it had to be postponed a number of times because of Covid-19, but it was broadcast – we were listening in, and it was great to hear us (Monageer) being called out as runners-up.”
Mr Nolan became emotional when he acknowledged the amount of work that occurred on the site in ‘the six weeks when he was away’. “Volunteerism and the spirit is out there, and it is in Monageer in spades,” and he thanked everyone including Wexford County Council and “all who attended here today.”
Michael Sweeney described Wexford County Council’s involvement as ‘a partnership’. “You turned an old quarry into a marvellous facility for public use,” he concluded.