The 18th Annual Aisling Awards

 Aisling Awards


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This year’s Aisling Award recipients

Education: CBS – Mentoring Programme
Positive Belfast: World Police and Fire Games
Belfast Brand: Skainos
Sport: Cliftonville FC
Business: Duke of York
Culture and Arts: Féile 15
Gaeilge: Blas/It’s a Blas
Roll of Honour: Linda Ervine
Persons of the Year: Joe Brolley and Shane Finnegan

Tonight brought the Aisling Awards into its eighteenth year, rightly known as the “Belfast Oscars” this year was as big as ever.  The Aisling Awards remain the most ambitious awards ceremony in Belfast awarding many groups/persons from Belfast who deserve recognition for what they do, categories included Roll of Honour, Belfast Brand and Business Award.

I attended with my friend Ruairi O Bleine and presented the Positive Belfast Award to Dame Mary Peters, who accepted on behalf of the World Police and Fire Games.

The first nominee in the category was the World Police and Fire Games. In August 2013 Northern Ireland welcomed 7,000 competitors from 67 countries for the World Police and Fire Games. With almost every event open to the public and free of charge, they truly captured the imagination of the local population.  

Also on the short list we had Sólás, a special needs charity based in South Belfast, which supports the educational and social development of children with additional needs. In the past 12 months Sólás has developed additional programmes for children with autism aiming to plug the gaps in the provision of services for special needs kids. 

The Triage Project launched by Springfield Charitable Association in 2012 provides and organizes events on a weekly basis enabling social inclusion and providing support care and advice.  The initiative has now grown to include North and West Belfast. 

The West Belfast and Greater Shankill Integrated Services for Children &Young People programme has worked since 2009 to improve the life opportunities and outcomes for children, young people and families. With the aim of “tackling the scourge of unemployment and poverty” in west Belfast and greater Shankill. 

The judges said that this year they had a particularly difficult decision and that the final call came down to the wire.  But, in the end and after much debate over a two-day period a winner was chosen.

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