Members of Ballingarry Tidy Towns with their award from left: Jimmy Maher, Caroline Kealy, Cllr Imelda Goldsboro and Paul Brown. Picture Joe Kenny
Ballingarry scooped the top prize in Carrick-on-Suir Municipal District’s annual Tidy Towns Awards ceremony at Cloneen Community Hall last Tuesday evening, March 8.
The village’s Tidy Towns committee won the top award in the competition for achieving the biggest increase in its marks in last year’s National Tidy Towns Competition.
The community improved its performance in the national competition by an impressive 18 points to bring its overall total to 296 earning the committee a €3,500 prize, which will be invested in the village’s Tidy Towns campaign for this year.
Ballingarry Tidy Towns Committee and the other winning Tidy Towns groups in the district received their cash prizes just before Christmas.
At last week’s awards ceremony, chaired by Carrick Municipal District chairman Cllr Mark Fitzgerald, the winning community groups were presented with a commemorative framed scroll. Cloneen Tidy Towns earned the second highest increase in points in the National Tidy Towns contest last year improving its performance by 8 points to achieve the district’s highest overall score of 321 in the competition. This performance earned Cloneen Tidy Towns a €2,000 prize.
In joint third place were Drangan Tidy Towns and Killenaule Tidy Towns committees who improved their scores by six points bringing them to 314 and 287 points respectively.
Both committees received €2,000 in the Carrick MD awards as did Ballyneale Tidy Towns group that increased its performance in the national competition by 5 points last year.
Mullinahone, Dualla, Glengoole and Fethard Tidy Towns commmittees each received €1,000 in the district awards contest.
And the district’s newest Tidy Towns groups Faugheen and Ahenny/Clashnasmuth also received €1,000 newcomers prizes.
Before the presentation of the award scrolls, the Tidy Towns groups' members listened to a presentation from representatives of the Gold medal winning Kilsheelan Tidy Towns Committee, winners of the South East Regional Tidy Towns Award last year.
Kilsheelan Tidy Towns Committee secretary Fiona Crotty and treasurer Tom Callery shared with their fellow volunteers knowledge and tips they have learned in competing in the national competition over many years.
Cllr Fitzgerald said the awards were a great way to acknowledge the hard work all the committees and their volunteers put into improving the appearance of their communities year after year.
“The financial support they receive from the awards is of great benefit to these groups in keeping them going and keeping their areas beautiful, clean and tidy.”
He said the talk by Kilsheelan Tidy Towns Committee’s representatives gave an insight into the National Tidy Towns competition application process and he believes their advice will be “invaluable” to his own Cloneen TT group this year.
“Tidy Towns groups are great at working on the ground but sometimes they let themselves down in terms of building up their points when they are doing up the application,” he explained.
This was Carrick Municipal District’s first physical Tidy Towns awards ceremony since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and Cllr Fitzgerald was delighted to see the return of social interaction between Tidy Towns volunteers.
“There was sandwiches and hot food after the ceremony and it was an important way for people to meet each other and share advice with each other and network,” he added.
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