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Clarecastle Tidy Towns clean up in national photography competition

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CLARECASTLE Tidy Towns have swept away the competition and cleaned up in a national contest. The local voluntary group have been named overall winners in the National Tidy Towns Photography Competition 2020.
The winning photograph was taken by Christy Leyden, chairperson of Clarecastle Tidy Towns and depicted a wall mural by local artist Niamh Hickey in Haggart View, Creggaunahilla which forms part of a biodiversity project. The message of the mural, and the photograph is, “Never underestimate the power of a planted seed”.
Judges in the competition found that the picture said a lot about the spirit of Tidy Towns, in building community pride and displaying the various talents we have in our community
The bio-diversity project started in the spring of 2019 when at a Clarecastle Tidy Towns meeting the poor state of the plot fronting a wall in the housing estate was discussed and a pollinator friendly bed was suggested.
A bedding plan was prepared with an emphasis on pollinator friendly plants and shrubs. The estate developers, Woodhaven Developments, sponsored the plants and Tidy Towns volunteers planted the pollinator friendly bed in May 2019 and followed up with the planting of appropriate bulbs in late September 2019.
In the meantime the residents of Creggaunahilla working with Clarecastle Tidy Towns and Clare County Council’s Rural & Community Officer, Niamh Wiley, formed a Residents’ Association. This very active association commissioned one of their own residents, Niamh Hickey, to work on an appropriate mural for the wall behind the biodiversity plot.
Niamh volunteered to work on the project and came up with the design for the mural which has greatly enhanced the entrance to Creggaunahilla.
The motivational quote on the mural was chosen as an example of how different groups and people with different talents within the community can work together to build community pride.
“As an artist and teacher, the affirmation ‘Never underestimate the power of a planted seed’ has always struck a chord with me. I was delighted to take on the commission and contribute to this wonderful community project. I hope it proves inspirational to others, and ‘plants many seeds’ going forward!”
Christy Leyden, Clarecastle Tidy Towns commented, “Creggaunahilla residents are to be complimented on setting up their association and taking initiatives to greatly enhance their local area. Clarecastle Tidy Towns were delighted to work with the residents and we are very grateful to Clare County Council and Woodhaven Developments for their support”.

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