Getting ready in Limerick or Ireland’s Best Kept Towns final are Tidy Towns volunteers Gerry Higgins, Helen O'Donnell, Sharon Slater and Maura O'Neill Picture: Michael Cowhey
LIMERICK Tidy Towns has qualified for the final of Ireland’s Best Kept Towns competition.
A delegation will travel from the Treaty City to Farmleigh in Dublin for the final of the national competition next Tuesday.
There, Limerick will be up against Carrigaline, Derry City and Antrim in the category of Best Large Urban Centre.
It comes after strong polling for Limerick in last year’s Tidy Towns contest.
Helen O’Donnell, Tidy Towns, described the news as “a big honour” for the city, especially in view of the fact there was no entry.
“We wondered why we had [been selected], and evidently, we found out it is based on our results in Tidy Towns last year. It’s a big honour for Limerick. We’re five years into Tidy Towns. We have not been lucky enough to receive any award yet. But having got into this is significant,” Ms O’Donnell said.
Ireland’s Best Kept Towns competition is an all-Island initiative organised joingly by the Department of Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council.
Limerick will face Derry City, Antrim and Clonakilty in its category.
Ms O’Donnell joked that there is a bit of family rivalry in the competition – as she has a brother in law residing on Foyleside.
“I keep teasing him that we will beat them. It’d be nice to see Limerick beat Derry from time to time. There is an auld rivalry there,” she laughed.
She believes Limerick stood out in Tidy Towns last due to the fact the judges visited around the same time as a delegation in the city in its bid to be European Capital of Culture 2020.
“I feel this made a big difference as the local authority pulled out all the stops. Limerick was absolutely beautiful in the month of July last year,” she said.
While Limerick will compete in the category of Best Large Urban Centre, there are three other awards on offer: best village, best small town and best large town.
Tidy Towns volunteers meet each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening to give the city a clean-up.