The latest of my Deputy Lord Mayor functions was last Thursdays Dublin Tidy Districts Awards. The Lord Mayor was on a wee trip to 'Yugoslavia' as the Mansion House calls it, so I got the gig. It was very impressive to see all the effort that has gone into the entries. Happily many of the entries were from my own area of the North Inner City and many of them went home with prizes - including Infirmary Road residents, Berkeley Road residents, Gardiner Street School, Kirwan Street Cottages and indeed the overall winner Arbour Hill Prison. I was particularly delighted to present the award to the Arbour Hill Prison Officers as it was obviously a massive effort and one which took a lot of vision and energy. It was certainly the story of the night.
In my few words I emphasised the importance of civic pride and being proud of the area that you are from - I tell the kids in my class in Sheriff Street every day to be proud of where they are from and to never apologise to anyone about their community. Anyway that seemed to go down reasonably well - then the prize giving started which went on for about two hours in sweltering heat. However the reaction of the prize winners made it all worth while - each one truly delighted to have achieved recognition for their efforts. We got plenty of photos taken - including plenty of enthuasiastic Dail candidates throwing themselves in front of the flashing cameras. Ah well, we'd all better get used to that sight over the next year.
So well done to all involved especially the City Council and all the entrants - and the Civic office staff for the lovely meal - yum!!!