The BBN this year entered Blackrock in the Bank of Ireland Enterprising Towns’ Competition and the judges visited Blackrock on the afternoon of 3 October 2017. Country wide there were 77 entries in total. The venue for the BBN presentation was HeadOffice on Rock Hill. After introductions, a brief chat, and a welcome from host Vivienne Bradley, Tom Feeney, BBN Chairman, did a Power Point presentation on the history of Blackrock, the difficulties caused by the recession and then followed on with the efforts made by the BBN to reinvigorate Blackrock Village. This presentation was followed by each of the three Task Force Chairs giving details of their Task Force projects and their plans for the future. These were Mark Fenton, Chair of the Business Attraction Task Force, Vivienne Bradley, Chair of the Events and Communications Task Force, and finally Deirdre Kingston, Chair of the Placemaking Task Force.
The session concluded with presentations from Angela Kelly on her heroic Tidy Towns’ efforts and from Gillian Hoey, Manager of Bank of Ireland Blackrock with a display of photographs to the strains of U2’s Beautiful Day. After a comprehensive question and answer session, the judges then went on a 45 minute walkabout where they had a good look at the Village highlights and also observed the many projects both underway and planned. They also sampled some of the great food Blackrock has to offer. The wrap-up took place over some glasses of Prosecco in Blackrock Cellar with a few final words from Tom Feeney and from Chairman of the Judges Tom Hayes. Tom Hayes was fulsome in his praise of the efforts made by Blackrock and was also very supportive of the plans for the future. To round of the visit a carefully planned ambush by Nastaise Leddy’s Bloomsday players to the strains of “Those Girls, Those Girls” sent the judges away with a very favourable impression of our Village. The results will be announced on 15 November 2017.