Dublin cleaned up at the National Lottery Awards 2023 with an incredible four Good Causes scooping top honours, taking home a whopping €10,000 each.
The National Lottery Good Causes Awards, which took place on October 21st in Killashee House Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare, honour the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who, with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding, have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.
Children’s Books Ireland won the Arts and Culture category taking home an amazing €10,000. The non-profit organisation was set up to inspire a love of reading in young people. They champion every young person’s right to excellent books and live literature events. With Good Causes funding, Children’s Books Ireland led the first ever Raising Voices Fellowship, which gives supports to aspiring writers and illustrators from backgrounds which have been underrepresented in children’s literature. The overall aim is to increase diversity and representation in Irish children’s books by removing barriers to publication which may be faced by those from marginalised or minority groups. They were presented with their award on Saturday by actor James Martin from the Oscar winning movie ‘An Irish Goodbye’.
The Irish Homeless Street Leagues topped the Sport category on Saturday night, also scooping €10,000. Retired sprinting sensation Jason Smyth presented the award to the incredible group, who uses the power of sport to help people suffering from social inclusion to get back into the community. Their moto is, ‘a ball can change a life’, and they currently run weekly football leagues at various locations around Ireland.
Coming out on top of the Irish Language category was AerachAiteachGaelach, an artistic cooperative group of LGBTQ+ artists, functioning primarily through the medium of Irish. Well-known Irish broadcaster Dáithí Ó Sé presented the group with their award. AerachAiteachGaelach were commended for their work, which embraces a wide range of arts such as acting and drama, singing and music, drag and physical art, poetry, rap, writing and research in the arts all through Irish.
And finally, The Little Museum of Dublin won the overall awards in Heritage category. They were presented their award and €10,000 cheque by Eanna Ní Lamha, CEO of the Tree Council of Ireland. The Little Museum of Dublin is an award-winning local history museum situated in the heart of St Stephen’s Green in Dublin City. They offer history, humour and hospitality along guided museum tours, treasure hunts and walking tours around the city. Since 2011, their goal was to grow civic pride, foster belonging, and public engagement with Dublin’s diverse heritage.
Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services which assists women affected by domestic violence and abuse was named National Lottery Good Cause of the Year and also won the Health and Wellbeing category. National Lottery funding which is distributed through the HSE has enabled Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services to fund a series of holistic programmes aiming to reduce stress and anxiety for women staying at refuge. This included acupuncture, sound baths, weighted blankets to reduce anxiety and a new library of 154 books related to recovery and wellbeing.
The Awards have seven categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community, Youth and Irish Language. A special category, ‘Hero of the Year’, recognises outstanding work done by an individual within an organisation. This year’s winner was Jamie Blanche of Waterford Marine Search and Rescue.
The seven category winners each received €10,000; the Hero of the Year received €5,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year, Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services received an additional €25,000.
Andrew Algeo, Chief Executive of the National Lottery said: “On behalf of the National Lottery, I extend our heartfelt congratulations to Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services, as well as our other remarkable category winners. Your dedication to making a positive impact on society is truly inspiring. It’s been an honour to share the stage with such a variety of groups who benefit from Good Causes funding.”
This year’s National Lottery Good Causes Award winners are: (full details below)
National Lottery Good Cause of the Year: Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services
Heritage: Little Museum of Dublin
Sport: Irish Homeless Street Leagues
Irish Language: AerachAiteachGaelach
Youth: Roscommon Young Carers
Community: Waterford Marine Search and Rescue
Arts & Culture: Children’s Books Ireland
Health and Wellbeing: Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services
Hero of the Year: Jamie Blanche, Waterford Marine Search and Rescue
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on all National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts, heritage, and the Irish Language. In total more than €6 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 36 years ago. In 2022 alone, €259 million was raised for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.
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Featured Image: Ireland.AerachAiteachGaelach won the Irish Language Category and were presented with their award by broadcaster Dáithí Ó Sé
Photographer: Mac Innes Photography