Late this Thursday afternoon, around 5pm, representatives from five communities have an appointment at Aras an Uachtarain. We are quite sure that it will be a happy occasion and one that should bring pride to different parts of Limerick. They have been invited because of the Limerick Leader’s participation in the Get Involved initiative promoted by the Regional Newspapers and Printers Association of Ireland. It seeks to highlight outstanding examples of community pride at work and the Limerick representatives are there because of the excellence of their participation in the Going for Gold initiative aimed at making Limerick the cleanest and tidiest city in Ireland. We hope they will carry off the first prize on offer, but winning is secondary when it comes to something like this. It’s all about what you can do to make your area a better, nicer place.
We are delighted that the RNPAI has put so much store in this initiative, because it’s a good example of the hugely positive work being done by local newspapers the length and breadth of Ireland this week. The carping critics who claim that local newspapers are full of negative news, and rarely focus on the positive things happening in our communities, are talking nonsense. Even a cursory glance at the nation’s local newspapers will reveal that to be the case, every single week.
The Going for Gold competition backed by the Leader and our sister paper the Chronicle reaches its conclusion next week, but it is only one of several initiatives that are putting pride into Limerick communities every day.
The Tidy Towns competition is perhaps the most high-profile of them all and this week, on page 8, we carry comprehensive coverage of how Limerick communities fared when the latest results were announced early this week. Very pleasingly, every single area recorded an increase on its marks last year. Adare, for so long a mainstay of Tidy Towns, emerged with the best marks locally and according to the judges it wouldn’t take much for this stunning village to once again scale the dizziest of heights as the No 1 Tidy Town in the country.
That’s not to say that the Limerick competition for that signal honour is resting on its laurels. To read through the comments in the village-by-village section of our coverage is to find dozens of communites that will be thrilled with their results this year.
We all see them on our way to or from work or wherever else we are going – dedicated volunteers out tending to shrubs and picking up pieces of rubbish so carelessly dropped by people who should know better. Such littering insults those who take pride in their home place and there is little that can be done about the attitude of some in our community, but thankfully they are increasingly in a minority.
Not everybody gets to go to Aras an Uachtarain, or pick up the ultimate prize before the TV cameras on Tidy Towns annoucement day, which is why it’s important that we salute those who do their good deeds away from the spotlight. We all know people like that. We urge our readers to congratulate them this weekend and thank them for a job well done.