A proud group in Hospital: Tidy Town committee members Joan Meehan, Mary O’Brien, Noreen O’Brien, Mattie Quirke, Geraldine Ringrose, Marie Reale, John Farrell, Helen O’Loughlin and Bernard O’Brien
HOSPITAL has become the latest winner of the weekly public vote in this year's Limerick Going for Gold Community Challenge.
The group, which was also a finalist last year, beat off strong competition from Caherdavin Tidy Towns, South Limerick City Residents Association, Kilmallock Tidy Towns, Newcastle West Tidy Towns and Southill Tidy Towns.
Reaching the Going for Gold challenge final in 2016, Hosptial Tidy Towns committee is hoping to improve on last year's result and complete a top five placed finish in the competition.
Hospital Tidy Towns secured 58.4% of the public vote to join Athea, Galbally, Castleconnell and Oola in the grand final in October.
Each week, six community groups featured in the Limerick Leader and on Live 95FM’s Limerick Today programme.
Each of the weekly winners will go forward to the grand final along with a number of wildcard entries which were selected by a panel of local judges.
Seven wildcard entries, Abbeyfeale, Adare, Croom, Foynes, Kilfinane, Moyross and South Limerick City Residents Association have joined the previously chosen five weekly winner in the final.
The results of the national Tidy Towns competition will be combined with votes of the local judges with the winners being announced at a gala event in October.
The prize fund for this year’s Limerick Going for Gold is up to a huge €70,000, with a top prize of €10,000 on offer in the challenge category.
Over 140 applications were received for this year’s Going for Gold competition, which is funded by the JP McManus Charitable Foundation and run by Limerick City and County Council.
A number of other competitions are being run as part of Going for Gold, with winners due to be announced in the Limerick in Bloom Category, Tidy Towns Incentive, Residential Areas, Best Front Garden competition and the new “love your limerick” photo competition.
Judges decide on Going for Gold wildcard entrants
Seven communities have joined the five weekly winners in the Going for Gold Challenge final taking place in October.
Abbeyfeale, Adare, Croom, Foynes, Kilfinane, Moyross and South Limerick City Residents Association were selected as wildcards by an experienced panel of judges following the original public vote.
They will join the weekly winners of Athea, Galbally, Castleconnell, Oola and Hospital at a gala event in October to decide the overall winner of this year's prestigious competition.
Judges Jimmy Feane, former Director of Services with Limerick City and County Council and Richard Barry, Chair of Louth Tidy Towns said the selection of the wildcards was a difficult one.
"It was fantastic to see communities across the city and county embracing the aim of Limerick Going for Gold to make Limerick a cleaner, brighter place to work live and visit, however this presented myself and Richard the difficult task of trying to choose wild card finalists for the challenge category," said Jimmy Feane.
“Jimmy and I would like to congratulate all of the participating groups on the work and effort they have put into their local areas. I am pleased to say that litter was all but absent from the communities we visited," added Richard Barry.
All 12 communities will compete in the Challenge category final which takes place in the Strand Hotel on Tuesday, October 10.