An organisation providing support for parents of children with cancer and a mountain rescue team are amongst 139 groups, sports clubs, community projects and organisations from all over the country today announced as County Winners in the first-ever National Lottery Good Causes Awards.
The awards honour the inspiring work being carried out by thousands of projects, clubs and individuals in Ireland thanks to National Lottery Good Causes funding. Nearly 30 cent of every euro spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes. Last year alone €226 million was raised, or approximately €620,000 every day.
Announcing the winners in the County phase of the competition today National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, said: “We were bowled over by the number and calibre of entries we received for these inaugural awards and it is proof that organisations supported by Good Causes funding are having a huge impact in their local communities. These groups are doing extraordinary things and the National Lottery Good Causes awards recognize and celebrate their achievements.”
The competition – which culminates in a televised Gala Awards Dinner in Dublin on Saturday, 3rd November, has six categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community and Youth. A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award announced at the Awards final to one National Lottery funded organisations which works to promote the Irish Language.
Amongst the 139 County winners are:
- Sport: Gaelic Warriors Wheelchair Rugby Club, Dublin; Finuge Freewheelers Cycling club, Kerry; Dublin/Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team, Wicklow and Edenderry GAA, Offaly.
- Health & Wellbeing: Jack & Jill Foundation, Dublin; Mullaghmore Equestrian Centre, Westmeath; Western Alzheimer’s, Mayo and Elphin Social Services, Roscommon.
- Heritage: Athy Heritage Centre Muesum and Shackleton Museum, Kildare; Irish Workhouse Centre, Galway; Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Meath; and Waterford County Museum, Waterford
- Arts & Culture: Fidget Feet Aerial Dance, Limerick; Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Aspiro Choir, Carlow; Cork Community Art Link, Cork; Backstage Theatre, Longford and Mullingar Arts Centre, Westmeath.
- Community: Irish Wheelchair Association, Carlow; Irish Red Cross, Clare; Sligo Lend-a-hand, Sligo; Maria Goretti Foundation, Louth and Breffni Community Development, Leitrim.
- Youth: Blanchardstown Clubhouse (Foroige), Co Dublin; Youth Work Ireland, Tipperary; Donegal Youth Service, Donegal and Children’s Grief Centre, Limerick.
These winners will now go forward to the six Regional finals, competing for a place in the National Finals in Dublin on Saturday 3rd November.
Broadcaster and entrepreneur Bobby Kerr, Chair of the Judging panel, concluded: “It is a privilege to be involved in these awards and to learn first-hand of the impact of Good Causes in every parish, village and town in Ireland. It has been a very tough job selecting winners. I congratulate all of those who have come through the County phase of the competition and look forward to the Regional Finals next month.”
Each category winner will receive €10,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year will receive an additional €25,000. The full list of County Winners can be found here.
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games – or over €619,000 per day – goes back to Good Causes all over the country in the areas of Sports, Arts, Culture, Heritage, Community, Health, Youth and the Irish Language. Last year alone more than €226 million was raised by players of National Lottery games for such Good Causes