KILRUSH has been named Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town in this year’s SuperValu National Tidy Towns competition.
The result was announced by Mr. Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government at the 2014 National SuperValu TidyTowns Awards Ceremony in Dublin.
Kilrush was marked against strict adjudication criteria and beat off stiff competition from scores of other small towns throughout Ireland.
Other competition winners included Kilkenny City (Tidiest Large Urban Centreand overall winner), Clonegal Co. Carlow (Tidiest Village) and Westport Co. Mayo (Tidiest Large Town).
Speaking following the ceremony at The Helix, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Councillor John Crowe said the award success is a tribute to the local community in Kilrush and the work they have carried out improve the appearance of the town.
He added: “Key to Kilrush’s progress in the TidyTowns competition has been the partnership approach that it been adopted locally. There is a broad range of groups and organisations now involved in promoting and enhancing the appearance of the town including the local TidyTowns Committee, TUS scheme participants, staff from Clare County Council, the local business sector, and the people of the town and surrounding areas.”
“I would like to particularly acknowledge Kilrush TidyTowns Committee which has worked tirelessly and selflessly to improve the appearance of Kilrush. The volunteers have toiled throughout the year in various public areas to create and maintain flowerbeds, keeps streets tidy, cut grass and pick up litter. This award further enhances the status of Kilrush as a growing and prosperous town and as an attractive visitor destination,” the Cathaoirleach stated.
Kilrush received 316 points out of a maximum of 450, just 4 points less than the overall winner.
In its report to Kilrush TidyTowns Committee, the adjudicators said: “We have to say that our visit to Kilrush will be remembered as one of the highlights in our experience of adjudication over the years. This is because Kilrush itself is a lovely town, and most importantly its people have obviously appreciated that, have striven to retain its character, and continue to improve and move forward in many ways. We consider that you have all the enthusiasm to progress further, based on a solid achievement to date, and we look forward to following your progress in future years.”
There was further success for County Clare today when Ennis joined Kilrush in being awarded a Gold Medal.
Meanwhile, Mountshannon received a Silver Medal with Ballynacally, Kilkee and Tuamgraney securing Bronze Medals. Kilrush, Mountshannon and Ennis picked up County Awards, Newmarket-on-Fergus won the Midwest Endeavour Award, and Ennis was named the overall winner of the Gum Litter Taskforce Award for Large Towns.
Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council said Clare’s performance in the Tidy Towns competition is particularly significant considering the extremely high standards set by the Tidy Towns adjudication panel this year.
“Tidy Towns helps to improve the visual appearance of Clare towns and villages, while it also acts as a springboard for local communities and the business sector to promote their local areas as a visitor destination. Clare County Council, through its support for Clare participants in the competition and through the funding allocated under the Public Area Enhancement Scheme, is delighted to see that the standards achieved were extremely high this year which is a tribute to everyone involved.”