THE efforts of local communities and businesses to improve and promote the River Barrow were recognised at the recent Barrow Awards.
Prizes were handed out in ten categories at the annual ceremony and Leighlinbridge Improvement Group was placed second in the overall competition. They also won the industrial heritage category and best in county.
For this prize they conducted a research project into heritage sites along the Barrow, including standing stones along the river. They also created an interactive map of the town as well as conducting an ecological survey.
Rathangan in Co Kildare were named as the overall winner.
Third place overall went to Bagenalstown Improvement Group for their work on rose beds, interpretative boards and tree planting.
The work of businesses promoting the river and making it attractive was also acknowledged. Borris-based company Paddle Your Own Canoe received second prize in this section.
Eileen O’Rourke of Carlow Tourism explained that the River Barrow would not be what it is without the work of volunteers. “There is a huge amount of voluntary effort to keep the river well presented and a pleasant experience for visitors. There is a lot to be commended,” she said.
“The awards honour the volunteers and goodwill that has a tangible impact on tourism,” added Ms O’Rourke, who also praised the role played by local authorities in the awards.