CLONAKILTY has been named Ireland’s tidiest small town at the SuperValu TidyTowns Awards in Dublin.
Clon was among the four main category winners taking the Tidiest Small Town awards.
Abbeyshrule in Co. Longford was named Ireland’s Tidiest Village and also took the overall national TidyTowns award.
Westport in Co. Mayo received the award for Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town and Ennis, Co. Clare was named Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.
On hand to present the prizes were Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and Martin Kelleher, managing director of SuperValu.
The event was packed with almost 1,000 representatives from TidyTowns groups, from all over the country.
Martin Kelleher said: “SuperValu TidyTowns is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to build community spirit and make their local area a better place to live.
“SuperValu together with its countrywide network of local retailers is committed to helping build and support vibrant local communities.
“I am delighted to congratulate this year’s winners and to be able to take this opportunity to encourage, communities in these particularly tough times, to pull together for the greater good of the place they call home.”
Additionally, in a first for the competition, 13 SuperValu TidyTowns ‘Local Community Heroes’ were also honoured and presented with a specially commissioned commemorative pin.
It is hoped this recognition programme will grow and develop over the coming years, to recognise the people who are the backbone of many of the TidyTowns committees around the country.
Interest in the SuperValu TidyTowns competition has been stronger than ever in recent times and the number of entries has been growing year on year.
This year communities were again encouraged to ‘Get Your Hands Dirty for TidyTowns’ in a promotional campaign by the Department of the Environment ad SuperValu.
The response to this call was overwhelming with a record 855 communities entering the competition – an increase from 821 entries last year.
Clonakilty also took the Failte Ireland Tourism Town Award of €1,000 and the Gold Medal Award in Category D of €900 in the competition.
Eyeries Village, in Beara, was a Silver Medal Awards Winner in Category A.
This comes on top of scooping the Overall Winner in Ireland’s Best Kept Towns competition, 2012.
Eyeries also won the Best Kept Village category.
Other West Cork towns who won awards were Kinsale and Bantry who won Gold Medal Awards of €900 in Category D; Rosscarbery took a Silver Medal Award of €700 in Category B and Bere Island won the Island’s Award.