by Bernie English
ADARE took this year’s Tidy Towns County title with 343 points as well as a silver medal and a total of €1,700 in prize money in the 1,000 to 2,500 population category.
The Limerick entry came in just 12 points behind Ennis, which won the national award for the second time.
The judging process was different this year as visits to the various centres were not possible because of Covid restrictions, and local committees entrants were required to submit entries in video and document format.
The judges praised the idea of an Adare Tidy Towns Champion award, which went this year to local woman Mary Dundon.
They said the committee’s success “in no little way helped by having over the years built up excellent connections with local businesses, church groups, heritage groups, schools and residential groups which ensured that their activities are known to all”.
Galbally was awarded €800 for being Highly Commended as well as taking a bronze medal and winning a further €400 by earning 341 points in the 200 to 1,000 population category.
Judges congratulated the committee on having “the derelict properties in Riverside Way redeveloped and now occupied”, and said they were “delighted to see that they took the advice of the 2019 adjudicator and removed the ivy from the stone wall
on the Tipperary Road”.
Hot on their heels was Ardpatrick, which won a commendation and €500, as well as taking a bronze award and €400 for scoring 340 points in the under 200 population category.
The committee and residents were praised for a number of green initiatives, including the provision of nest boxes, composting grass cuttings and keeping “records of wild flowers, birds and wildlife in general. These records will add greatly to learning about nature in your area and will also be of benefit to the local school as they work towards their Green Flags”.
Newcastle West took a bronze medal in the 5,000 to 10,000 population category with 325 points.The local committee was congratulated for providing wheelchair accessible picnic tables in an area used by locals for outdoor enjoyment during lockdown.
Castleconnell also took bronze and €400 in the 1,000 to 2,500 population category scoring 335 points. The local committee was complimented on having skilled craftspeople available to assist in heritage refurbishments.
An endeavour award went to Oola, which scored 234 points in the 200 to 1,000 population category, an increase of four per cent on last year, and bringing home a cash prize of €500.
The judges congratulated the organisers for projects such as establishing beehives using swarms which were captured and proving bat boxes and dead logs to encourage biodiversity.
Bruff got a special Sustainable Development award and a €2,000 prize in the 200 to 1,000 population category.
The judges noted the area has an annual Envirofest aimed at helping the community to become more aware of sustainability and the schools endeavours with a series of talks/visits showcasing local heroes in terms of sustainability. Also organised was a Willow Workshop and an Earth Day Challenge as well as the distribution of compost bins and water butts to residents.