Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Why they’re happy as sandboys in village

Cloughey beach was the venue for superb beach art last August A Dunn

The village of Cloughey has received Ards Borough Council’s congratulations for its work to create ‘the best beach in Ireland’.

The praise follows a string of successes for the village’s community association, which most recently included winning the title of ‘Best Group’ in the FASA award scheme to promote positive achievement and the hard work of groups and individuals in the Ards peninsula.

The Mayor of Ards, Councillor David Smyth, said: “Cloughey and District Community Association (CDCA) is one of the most pro-active, positive and results-oriented groups in the Ards and deserves to be recognised for its sterling work, particularly in relation to enhancing the beautiful beach at Cloughey and promoting its appeal as an amenity for locals and tourists alike. Members of the association are all volunteers whose dedication and enthusiasm to improving their little bit of the Ards is hard to beat.”

The association claimed a series of coastal awards in 2008 and 2009 for its contributions to maintaining Cloughey beach and as a result of its work, water quality results at the beach have been graded ‘excellent’ throughout the 2010 summer season.

Beach cleaning, undertaken in partnership with the pupils of Kirkistown Primary School, as well as local residents, saw over 80 bags of rubbish collected by the volunteers this year alone while beach-based events, including a sand castle demonstration in August which attracted around 500 people, and environmental awareness work with local primary schools, are also helping to promote the beach.

Margaret Adair, secretary of CDCA says: “We do a major beach clean every month and there are some that clean it in between those times too. We even get visitors who stay at the local caravan site helping with the beach cleans. A lot of people want to help and feel part of the community even though they aren’t from this area.”

Margaret says the monthly community events are going down well. “We get more and more people coming along to these events and many take an active interest in what we do. We feel everyone in the community is a member of our association. It’s there for everybody.”

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