Tuesday 21st May 2019: Three Donegal organisations, Donegal G.A.P Heritage and History Group; Liquid Therapy and Involve youth project, have beaten off stiff competition to be named amongst the thirty-six community groups, sports clubs and organisations from all over Ireland were today announced as regional winners and finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019.
The Awards are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities. Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country.
Liquid Therapy is a not for profit foundation that provides ocean, surf, and water therapy for young people with physical, emotional, behavioral or intellectual needs. Good Causes funding allowed it provide surf boards and body suits for a growing number of members. Liquid Therapy will be one of six finalists in the Sport category.
Donegal GAP History and Heritage Group, which is a finalist in the heritage category, is a non-profit voluntary community group primarily based in the Glenties, Ardara and Portnoo (GAP) areas of South West, Donegal. The group aims to research, develop, protect and promote the built heritage of GAP and the surrounding areas
Involve is a youth project with recognises the equality of the Traveller Community by providing programmes, initiatives and services that promote the participation and inclusion of the Traveller Community in Irish Society. Involve will be in the Youth category in the final.
The 36 winning groups will now proceed to the grand final in six categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community and Youth. A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award to be announced on the night at the Awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done in the promotion of the Irish Language.
National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, today congratulated the 36 finalists for reaching this final stage of the awards process.
He said: “We were overwhelmed at the level of entries we received for the National Lottery Good Causes Awards. Now in its second year, we had over 480 applications from every County in Ireland spanning all six categories. Through these Awards we want to show how people, organisations, projects and sports clubs are doing extraordinary things in their local communities. This is work that often goes unrecognized and through these Awards we aim to change that, and also help to highlight to the people of Ireland, the good that their participation and support of the National Lottery is having in local communities across Ireland”
Each national category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get an additional €25,000 on top of this. The winners will be announced at a Gala Awards event in the Clayton Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Saturday 2nd November.
Speaking on selecting the winners, Broadcaster, publisher and businesswoman, Norah Casey, who is Chair of the awards judging panel, said: “I have been blown away by the standard of the entries for the Good Causes Awards and it really is a privilege to be involved. It was such a tough job but we have our final 36 Good Causes from an original pool of over 480 entries. It is humbling to learn of some of this inspiring work that is going on around Ireland and I am looking forward to meeting our finalists this October. They truly are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”
The judging for the National Finals of the Good Causes Awards takes place over two days in Athlone on 7th and 8th October. At this stage representatives of each of the 36 finalists will be asked to do a short presentation to the judging panel and respond to any questions from the panel. The judging panel will joined, at this stage, by Lotto host and RTE Weather Presenter, Nuala Carey.