THE Bantry Tidy Towns committee were awarded their first ever gold award in the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition at a ceremony held in Dublin on Monday.

Bantry which is in the small town category saw its overall points total increase to 302 from a total of 297 last year.

Committee member Phillip Spillane told Bantry Times, “We are absolutely delighted to win our first god award and it’s a real testament to the hard work of so many people who have helped throughout the year.

“The award shows we are going in the right direction and it’s especially satisfying to achieve it in what has been such a busy year for Bantry with the Atlantic challenge and a whole lot more going on in the town”.

Phillip said that for the town to come in just 7 points behind the category winner (Clonakilty) and just ten behind the overall winner (Abbeyshrule, Co. Longford) was a great achievement for Bantry.

Phillip said that there was no reason why the town could not continue to climb the rankings in the future thanks to the hard work of the volunteers who take such pride in their town.

In their official adjudication, the judges said, “It was a great delight to visit Bantry and witness all the work outlined in your submission.

“You have worked hard and well deserve an increase in markings. Your ability to lead from the front is evident and you’re forward thinking and healthy vision for your own place is praiseworthy.

“Your strength lies in partnership and in the sustainability of your endeavours. Go néirí libh amach anseo.”

Bantry will receive their award officially at a special South West awards night which will be held in October or November where the officially prize money will also be awarded.