Minister Michael Ring and Martin Kelleher, SuperValu, present Denis Floyd, chair of Birdhill Tidy Towns, and fellow committee members with Ireland's Tidiest Village award
LIMERICK Tidy Towns groups don’t have to travel too far to see how they can improve even further on this year’s results!
Just over the county bounds, Birdhill was named Ireland’s tidiest village.
Adare is Limerick’s tidiest village and gold medal winner followed by Ardpatrick, Galbally, Kilmallock and Newcastle West, who all received bronze medals. Limerick city centre had a jump of 12 points to 286, while Rockhill-Bruree captured the endeavour award for getting the largest percentage increase compared to 2015.
Denis Floyd, who has been with Birdhill Tidy Towns for 25 years, says there is no secret to success.
“It’s work, plenty of hard work and getting people involved is the big thing as it is becoming more difficult. We have a committee of 14 and a lot of others help out,” said Denis. They do daily litter patrols and sometimes even twice a day.
“We put in a community composter, opened up a community garden. It is a lot more than just tidiness which people don’t see. We have a community park, literary and nature trails that will hopefully attract visitors. We’ll keep plugging away,” said Denis.
Returning to the green side of the border and east Limerick, Castleconnell got 306 marks; Doon 289; Murroe 284; Ballyneety 279; Kilteely 270; Annacotty 255; Cappamore 246 and Caherconlish a superb 223 as a new entrant.
Castleconnell went up by 10 points and “surpassed the magical 300 points for the first time ever” said John Haridman.
“Our new total of 306 was enabled by gains in six of the eight categories. This was gratifying as we had managed over 30 different projects and events across all disciplines. The specific committee focus this year was to change from a small group of hi-vis clad volunteers and become a catalyst for a variety of community activities that encourage people to take part. These actions brought people closer to nature and more aware of their environment,” said John, who added: “It’s the Helix or bust for us in 2017 - bring it on!”
As Caherconlish is starting on its Tidy Towns journey they were equally thrilled. Michael Collins, chairman, said they had a target of around 200 so getting 223 was way beyond their expectations.
“This has been a community effort with everybody making a huge effort to enhance their houses and business premises. We got great financial and other help from the community to enable us to carry out our many projects. Judges’ comments have been mainly positive and even since judging in July some of the areas of concern - painting, curbs and footpaths – have been attended to. We would like to sincerely thank our small group of volunteers who worked tirelessly over the past four years to ensure our village could even enter Tidy Towns,” said Michael.