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Ennis scoops Tidy Towns award

THE Shannon Region Tidy Towns Awards presentation took place in Bunratty on Monday night.
A range of awards were presented to committees by Deputy Tony Killeen, Willie Lyons of sponsors SuperValu and Dr Vincent Cunnane, CEO of Shannon Development.
Ennis won the overall Shannon Region Tidy Towns Award, along with two national titles, Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre (with a prize of €5,000) and the national Gum Litter Taskforce Award (prize €1,000). In addition, Ennis won the Regional Notice Nature biodiversity award, Sixmilebridge National School won the Shannon Region Schools Award (€750 prize) and the SuperValu Endeavour Award went to Lissycasey (prize €500).
In the county awards section, Ennis was the Clare winner (prize €900) with Ballynacally highly commended (prize €700) and Kilrush commended (€400). Ennis and Kilrush won gold medal awards in their population categories, with a silver going to Ballynacally and Kilkee and Mountshannon picking up bronze medals.
Mr Killeen said that the competition has major benefits for communities. “We call it a competition but of course Tidy Towns is a lot more than that and that is the reason so many towns, villages and urban areas have participated in it for so long. Tidy Towns is, in reality, a development programme which gives a solid structure to community groups seeking to improve their environment and a platform on which to build year on year.”
Not all the emphasis should be on the winners, he said. “While the focus tends to be on the winning towns, the real story often goes untold – the hundreds and hundreds of towns and villages that take part each year with no thought of reward but the improvement of their areas. Without doubt, the most important element in ensuring the continued success of Tidy Towns is you, the volunteers, who selflessly contribute so much time and energy to the public good.”
He had particular praise for Sixmilebridge National School, which won the schools award in the region. “It’s a fine achievement, given that the standards in the participating schools continue to improve year on year. It is so important to involve young people in addressing today’s environmental challenges so that they can develop the skills, and in particular the commitment, to contribute actively to the future wellbeing of their communities.”
The work being done by the public was also lauded by Dr Vincent Cunnane, chief executive of Shannon Development. “Tidy Towns has grown into a competition which has delivered positive economic benefits in a range of areas, from industry and the environment to tourism and fostering community spirit. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the army of people involved in Tidy Towns who each year take to the towns, villages and countryside to ensure that their area is looking its best.”

Scariff estate is voted the best kept in the county

Connaught Road in Scariff is the best-kept local authority estate in the county.
In also winning the 31 to 50 house category, the residents’ group collected a total of €1,100 and the newly commissioned Mary Hennessy Memorial Award.
Councillor Patricia McCarthy, ­cathaoirleach designate of the ­Housing and Social Policy Committee, in ­presenting the awards for the Best Kept Local Authority Estates Competition 2009, commended the residents in each of the estates for their achievements, which involved enhancement of the ­appearance and presentation of dwellings and open spaces within their estates.
At the prize-giving ceremony in Áras Contae an Chláir, she acknowledged the commitments shown by the residents including young people in each estate. 
“The ceremony is about celebrating and honouring community development, tenant action and good estate management practices in housing estates in County Clare.” 
This is the seventh year of the competition and Clare County Council thinks it is important to reward communities in estates for their involvement in improving their environment and the quality of life of residents within their estates.
Vincent O’Halloran, administrative officer, announced the overall winner of the competition. 
The best new entrant award went to Rosscliffe Court, Ballynacally; most improved estate was Kylavoher, Meelick while the special judges award went to St Joseph’s Road, Ballyvaughan.
Prizes were awarded to a total of 29 resident associations in local authority estates throughout the county.

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