A LIMERICK fruit and vegetable store which has been in the same family for four generations has won the overall Tidy Towns award for 2014
C O’Neill’s, based at 20 Upper William Street won the Tidy Towns monthly award for September, after inspectors met proprietor Miriam O’Neill when she was cleaning her shop in the run-up to the giant granny’s visit.
And she beat 11 other monthly winners to be named Tidy Towns business of the year at a special ceremony at the Savoy Hotel this Tuesday night.
C O’Neill’s fruit and veg first opened in Upper William Street back in 1932 as a general store and has been serving generations of Limerick families since.
It is currently run by Miriam’s two sons Cathal and David.
The shop won the prize following a public vote in which 800 people voted.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Miriam admitted she was speechless about winning the prize - which included a bottle of champagne and a cut-glass trophy.
“I cannot believe it. I had no idea I was going to win this prize,” she smiled, “I don’t know what I could put this down to, because everyone deserves to win. It does encourage people to look after their shop fronts.”
She said the trophy will take “pride of place” in the shop, which Miriam makes an effort to decorate to reflect the four seasons of the year.
“All my staff members put so much into making the shop special. It is just great to be recognised,” she added.
She said the family’s business has increased, as more people have recognised the benefit of eating healthily.
Sharon Slater, Limerick Tidy Towns, added: “Not only was the property looking great, but Miriam’s enthusiasm for keeping it so was clear for all to see. The three of us who chatted with her that evening were unanimous in deciding she deserved the September award.”
The Limerick Tidy Towns awards started back in January 2014 after the team who helped to keep the city clean felt it was a nice idea to acknowledge the efforts made by businesses to keep the outside of their shops clean.
Other winners from throughout the year included Lucky Lane, Catherine Street, Chicken Hut in O’Connell Street, and the St Joseph’s Church Gardens.
Already this year, four businesses have been honoured including the Stormy Teacup, Bobby Byrne’s and Parnell Plaza, Parnell Street.