KILRUSH has been awarded a gold medal in Category D of the annual National Tidy Towns Competition. The award was announced by Environment Minister John Gormley in Dublin on Monday.
Kilrush scored 300 points, which was an increase of two points on last year’s result, to beat off competition from all over Ireland and claim the accolade. The maximum total achievable is 400 points. The town first received its gold medal award in 2007 and since then has been gradually increasing its marks year on year.
Category D is for towns of between 2,501 and 5,000 people.
For the first time, St Senan’s Primary School in Kilrush also won a special schools award for the Mid-West region for their role in working with the local tidy towns committee.
“Retaining the gold medal is a massive achievement for everybody involved, as at this level the competition gets more difficult,” Murt Collins, chairman of Kilrush Tidy Towns Committee said.
He added that the award marks the culmination of months of hard work by local volunteers and members of the Kilrush Tidy Towns Committee to improve the appearance of the town.
The committee also acknowledged local FÁS participants who “worked tirelessly and selflessly to improve the appearance of Kilrush. The volunteers toiled throughout the summer in various public areas to create and maintain flowerbeds, keeps streets tidy, cut grass and pick up litter.”
Mr Collins explained co-operation between local groups had helped Kilrush to achieve the gold medal.
“Key to our progress in the Tidy Towns scheme has been the partnership approach that we adopted some years ago. There is a broad range of groups and organisations now involved in promoting and enhancing the appearance of the town, including the local Tidy Towns Committee, FÁS schemes, the staff from Kilrush Town Council, the local business sector and the community of Kilrush,” he said.
Kilrush town clerk John Corry said that taking part in the Tidy Towns competition has impacted positively on the appearance of the town.
“In recent years, Kilrush has been scoring consistently high in many categories of the competition. The improved appearance of the town has been observed and commented upon by the many thousands of visitors to the town each year. This can only have positive consequences for the town’s image and future growth.”
Elsewhere in West Clare, Kilkee achieved 286 points in Category C. This was a two-point decrease on their 2009 result. The other villages in West Clare achieved the following results: Doonbeg 279; Labasheeda 279; Kildysart 264; Knock 264; Kilmihil 263; Cranny 247; Killimer 247; Lissycasey 246 and Carrigaholt 236.
The Tidy Towns competition is a national competition organised by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. It has been running in Ireland for 52 years and each year attracts entries from more than 750 local communities throughout the country.
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