It was a tremendous community effort.
Kinsale has been crowned ‘Ireland’s Most Enterprising Town’ at the Bank of Ireland Begin Together Awards 2020, after students, residents and businesses joined forces to tackle the pandemic head on.
During a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), students of Kinsale Community School produced tens of thousands of visors, designed by one of the students and made with a 3D printer. These visors were then distributed free of charge throughout the country to hospitals and care homes.
And they didn’t stop there; when a consignment of masks received by Cork University Hospital from China did not have a sufficient seal, students and staff at the school devised a special clip which effectively ensured the masks were wearable.
Local resident Niamh O’Connell was also recognised for her work in looking out for the most vulnerable members of the town. Niamh’s COVID Volunteer Group, which comprised of 80 people, worked tirelessly to coordinate a sustained effort to support those people most in need.
As the lockdown eased, the Kinsale Chamber of Commerce launched the Kinsale Comeback Campaign and enlisted the expertise of global pandemic expert Dr Ian Norton to guarantee the safe re-opening of the town to visitors. Pedestrianising the streets and encouraging on-street dining are just two of the initiatives that have been hailed a success over the summer.
“Kinsale is truly an incredible town and witnessing the collaboration and community spirit that took place during this extremely challenging year has been humbling.” said Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Business Chairperson Guny Patel.
“The Kinsale Comeback Campaign and the support it received from stakeholders such as Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland as well as the business community here in Kinsale is proof that when we work together towards a common goal, we can come back stronger and achieve great things. This is the morale boost and vote of confidence that we needed to face the challenges ahead.”
As winners of this year’s competition, Kinsale takes home a cash prize of €50,000 sponsored by Bank of Ireland.