Mayo County Council – Cathaoirleach’s Awards 2021 Now Open for Nominations

Mayo County Council is delighted to announce that nominations are now open for our first annual Cathaoirleach’s Awards. The awards look to celebrate and recognise the unsung heroes that exist in every local community. These groups and individuals may go unnoticed by the wider public, but their contribution is invaluable, as it leads to a more caring, vibrant and stronger community.

The Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Smyth welcomed the opening of the nomination process and outlined; “I would encourage people of Mayo to take a moment to acknowledge those who represent the best of our county and who deserve to be recognised for their efforts.

It is important that we recognise the incredible efforts of those who take the time to improve our communities and make them a better place to be a part of. With such a variety of categories open for nominations; these awards will ensure that a wide variety of society will be deservedly recognised”

Positive contributions to the community can come in many different forms, which is why nominations are open for the following categories:

· Mayo Publication Award

· Contribution to Local Heritage Awards

· Contribution to Community Life Awards

· Community Tourism Award

· Environmental Awards

· Contribution to the Arts in Mayo

· Contribution to Irish Language Use/ Promotion Awards

· Contribution to Diaspora Wellbeing/Engagement

· Cathaoirleach’s Recognition Award

If you know an individual or group who deserves to be acknowledged for their contribution to their community, we invite you to nominate them, so they are recognised for the work they do.

Nomination forms, as well as information and tips for applicants can be downloaded at .

All applications will be considered by a panel consisting of local authority staff and invited external experts.

12 Awards will be made, in the detailed categories below, at an event to take place in November 2021.

Except for the Diaspora award, nominees must be living in Mayo.

The closing date for nominations is Friday, September 17th, 2021.

About the Awards

Mayo Publication Award: This Award is for the best book on any aspect of life in Mayo. Entries may include local heritage and history, biography and autobiography, folklore and traditions, natural history, sport, parish annuals and any other aspect of life in the county. Publications from individuals, organizations or communities are accepted. Fiction, poetry and drama entries not eligible.

Entries may be in Irish or in English / Is féidir iontrálacha a bheith i mBéarla nó i nGaeilge.

Book must have been published between the 1st May 2020 and 1st May 2021 and two copies of the book must be submitted to Mayo County Council for consideration.

Contribution to Local Heritage Award: This Award recognises the contribution by a group or an individual to the conservation, management, protection or promotion of Mayo’s natural, built or cultural heritage.

The Award recognises:

· fresh approaches and initiatives that link heritage to communities, promoting active engagement with heritage and its appreciation by the public.

· the application of good heritage practice in managing sites, collections or objects

· efforts/activities to ensure the survival of a heritage feature or structure

· contribution to heritage knowledge through research or data collection

Publications will not be considered for this award category.

Contribution to Community Life Awards (2 Awards):

Community Partnership Project Award: This Award recognises community groups that show initiative, leadership, and involvement in projects and activities that embody the spirit of genuine partnership and benefit the overall community.

Community Social Inclusion Project Award: Social inclusion is about involving everyone within communities and this Award recognises those groups working to strengthen local communities, increase participation and promote social inclusion through their organisation, its activities and events.

Community Tourism Award: The Community Tourism Award seeks to recognise the efforts of individuals, voluntary groups or social enterprises and their contribution to the development of outstanding experiences for visitors to County Mayo.

The award will recognise any of the following:

· Initiatives that develop great visitor experiences or extend the Céad Mίle Fáilte in our towns or rural areas.

· Collaborative initiatives between different visitor destinations in the County.

· Efforts that support a balanced calendar of annual events/activities.

· New or innovative attractions, activities/festivals.

· Collaboration with tourism and hospitality providers to ensure a high-quality integrated visitor service.

Environmental Awards (2 Awards)

· Young Environmentalist of the Year (with public vote element to selection)

· Environmental Community Group of the Year (selected from Category winners of National Tidy Towns Competition)

Contribution to the Arts in Mayo (Group/Individual): This category recognises the work that individuals/groups have done to encourage and promote the arts in their community.

· Individuals/groups that take every opportunity to promote Arts in their community.

· Individuals/Groups whose work embodies the spirit of community.

· Individuals/Groups who are ambassador for the Arts, their community and Mayo.

· Stimulate public interest in the Arts in the community.

· Promote knowledge, appreciation and practice of the Arts in their community.

· Assist in improving standards in the Arts in their community and in Mayo.

Contribution to Irish Language Use/ Promotion (2 Awards): This award recognises the contribution of voluntary groups within Gaeltacht and Non-Gaeltacht Areas, and what they are actively doing to preserve and promote the use of the Irish Language in their communities and across the county.

Separate Awards will be made to (i) groups based in the Gaeltacht, (ii) and groups who are based outside the defined Gaeltacht.

The Award should be based on the following:

· Good communication in promoting the use of the Irish Language:  spoken, written, social media, promotional material, etc.

· Organising Gaeilge events and encouraging the use of the Irish Language.

· Welcoming new members to the group with no Irish at all, some knowledge, or fluent and assisting them in using the Irish Language.

Contribution to Diaspora Wellbeing/Engagement: In general, this Award will recognise an overseas recipient/group who have contributed to furthering the cause and wellbeing of Mayo people or causes overseas. The nominees for this Award would be specifically sought from Mayo Associations but any person or group can nominate.

Cathaoirleach’s Recognition Award

This Award will recognise outstanding contribution to the ideals and spirit of Mayo – at home or overseas (Sustainability, Inclusiveness, Wellbeing, Pride in our County).

This award will allow Mayo County Council to acknowledge groups or individuals who do not fall within any of the categories outlined above.