are representing Kerry in the ‘Wellbeing’ category in the Pride of Place Awards 2018. Judging took place in Blackwater on July 5th. The elected officers of Blackwater Women’s Group are pictured here with the judges; Majella O’Sullivan, Julie Creedon, Josephine O’Neill, Mairead Robinson, Marie O’Connell, Judges Tom & Alison Dowling , Mary Doyle, Mary O’Neill and Mary Declan O’Neill. pic Mary O’Leary
Blackwater Women’s Group have been nominated by Kerry County Council to represent Kerry in the Community Wellbeing category at this year’s awards.
On Thursday 5th of July the Group welcomed the judges from the Pride of Place Competition to view their work and achievements over the past 17 years.
The sun shone and flowers, flags and bunting gave a festive air to
the proceedings. The whole community turned out to welcome their prestigious guests, even Big Bertha made a guest appearance along with generations of families, local politicians and musicians.
Following a brief history of the seventeen years of the group’s activities and events, a presentation detailing some highlights and a short film documenting the traditional farming methods, the judges enjoyed a bus tour of the area. Various speakers on the bus gave the judges an insight into life in the Blackwater area; the farming, fishing, economic, cultural and social life was covered.
Dr Richard O’Callaghan of the KerryLife Project told them about the rare Freshwater Pearl Mussel which can be found in the Blackwater River and how local farmers are involved in conservation methods.
They visited the traditional cottage of John and Joan Egan where disappearing ways of country life were filmed. As original drama is an important part of the group’s activities, a special comedy production entitled “Pride and Preparations” which starred a sheep dog, was specially written for the occasion. This along with a photographic exhibition took place in the old dance hall. The Tavern had display boards covered with pictures of the Blackwater Women’s Group activities, classes and drama productions along with pictures of Templenoe’s win in the All Ireland Junior Competition.
The whole afternoon was most enjoyable and refreshments were served. The judges seemed to really enjoy the day as they mingled with the crowd and tried to meet as many as possible.
The winners of the all-island awards will be announced at a gala dinner to be held in Cork in November.