Dundalk Sports Centre kitted out to recive Ukrainian refugees back in February 2022.
Their humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis and the Sea Louth scenic seafood trail have put Louth County Council in the running for two awards at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards which take place later this week.
In its 20th year, the awards feature a total of 94 Local Authority projects shortlisted over 15 categories. Louth County Council have been shortlisted in two categories at the event.
The humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis is a finalist in the ‘Local Authority Innovation’ category, while the Council’s tourism and economic development initiative ‘Sea Louth’ was shortlisted in the ‘Supporting Tourism’ category.
Louth County Council took the decision to act promptly, and in the most humanitarian way possible, to the unprecedented crisis following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
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Their response saw Louth County Council’s Crisis Management Team mobilised, with two strategic priorities identified - to set up a temporary ‘Rest Centre’ to quickly receive refugees arriving and to identify local 'quick fix' units for more sustainable accommodation.
The council owned Dundalk Sports Centre was repurposed as a temporary rest centre for seven weeks, managed by the Sports Centre staff working with colleagues and the statutory agencies.
The council’s ongoing work, through the https://offerahome.ie/ initiative provides a stable accommodation model, supported by the community response forum, agencies and the local community, ensuring safety and stability for families and children who had to flee from their homes due to war.
The second shortlisted project Sea Louth - County Louth's scenic seafood trail – features in the ‘Supporting Tourism’ category of the Excellence in Local Government awards 2023.
Launched just over two years ago, it has been hugely successful in attracting hundreds of visitors to the county, and encouraging local people to explore all the county has to offer.
Sea Louth aims to increase inward tourism and economic development, build tourism footfall and entice visitors to spend more time in Louth.
The aim of the trail is to utilize the 70km long coastline of the smallest county in Ireland, ranging from Drogheda to Omeath), encompassing the rich, quality seafood and Artisan food producer offerings, the maritime heritage cultural assets and the history of seafood in many of the towns and villages across County Louth.
Louth County Council Chief Executive, Joan Martin said: “These initiatives are an example of the broad range of excellent work being led by Louth County Council, and we wish both projects shortlisted in the Excellence in Local Government awards the very best of luck.”