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Ballynacally honoured in environmental awards

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Ballynacally blossomed as communities across the county were honoured at the 2009 Community Environmental Awards ceremony this week.
The picturesque village, overlooking the Shannon estuary, was named as the overall winner of the Clare In Bloom competition, scoring highly in the landscaping, range of planting, colour and litter control categories.
The annual competition is a motivational mechanism for the many small, local based groups throughout the county to enhance the visual impact of their towns and villages by means of flower, tree and shrub planting.
Judging, which takes place from mid-July to mid-August, considers such factors as colour, size, variety, location and appropriateness of the various planting schemes, along with the management of litter. Categories are based on population size.
Category 1 was won by Kilrush Tidy Towns Committee ahead of Quin Development Committee, with Shannon Tidy Towns third. 
St Mary’s Community Development in Lissycasey was named the winner of Category 2. Kildysart Tidy Towns was in second place and Kilmihil Tidy Towns came in third.
Category 3 was won by Ballyvaughan Tidy Towns with Knock Tidy Village Committee runners-up followed by Labasheeda Community Pride.
Special endeavour awards went to Lisdoonvarna and Bridgetown.
Lisdoonvarna impressed the judges with the couple dancing at the Square surrounded by flowers in bloom creating a sense of vibrancy. Bridgetown also impressed with its overall appearance, which was a fusion of colour during the adjudicating period.
The Mayor’s Environmental Award, together with perpetual trophy for 2009 and a cheque for €1,000, was awarded to Tuamgraney Development Association.
The historic village of Tuamgraney was ablaze with colour during the adjudicating period. Judges concluded that community spirit and pride of place were clearly evident in the village.
Addressing those in attendance at the awards ceremony, Mayor of Clare, Councillor Tony Mulcahy said it was heartwarming to see the excitement and pride of all participating communities.
“The Clare In Bloom competition would not exist without the strong sense of community spirit that exists throughout Clare. The county would also be missing out on the care, pride and colour that is so evident from the efforts of participating towns and villages.
“Clare County Council hopes to continue to enjoy a positive and co-operative working relationship with local groups. By working together, there is a greater chance of success in protecting the environment,” he said.
According to Councillor Joe Arkins, chairperson of the Environmental and Water Services Strategic Policy Committee, community groups the length and breadth of Clare are doing excellent work to improve the environment.
He encouraged more groups to get involved with the Tidy Towns competition, in which Clare has been performing exceptionally well during recent years.

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