CLONAKILTY was named the county winner in the Cork section of the Tidy Towns this week, while Rosscarbery took its first gold medal this year.
Kinsale, Rathbarry and Clonakilty retained their gold medal winning status and Bere Island won a national award in the islands category.
There have been no less than five gold medal winners in the entire county, plus five silver medallists, and seven bronze medal winners.
Rosscarbery took its first gold medal this year – much to the delight of the local committee – while Kinsale retained its gold medal winning status.
The village of Eyeries took silver this year, as did Bantry, while Ballydehob, Timoleague, Skibbereen and Bandon were all awarded bronze medals.
In Kinsale, Lily Fitzgerald (13) and local retailer, Michael Smith, were also presented with SuperValu Tidy towns Hero Awards for their unwavering commitment to enhancing their local area. And Inchigeelagh took an Endeavour Award.
Nationally, the seaside town of Skerries in Co Dublin was named best of the 859 towns and villages throughout the country, but there are loads more beautiful seaside towns in West Cork that are gaining ground in this competition.
The Minister for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring TD, underpinned people’s interest in making the best of their community when he praised ‘the enthusiasm of all those involved’ and said their work ‘results in the attractive, well cared-for towns and villages we see throughout the country.’
John Moloney, chairman of the Rosscarbery Tidy Towns, told The Southern Star that after four bronze and two silver medals in previous competitions ‘we were very happy to win gold.
‘It has taken years of effort by our hardworking committee, as well as a huge community group, to get to this stage. We put in an awful lot of work to bring Rosscarbery up to the very high standard demanded by the judges, and we have also taken on board their advice.
‘This year, they liked our pollination corridor – an area full of wild flowers – and they also commented favourably on the new steps that were constructed in front of the Catholic Church, the new monument in the Square, and the rebuilding of our old stone walls.’
Most towns and villages in West Cork are improving their year-on-year results by an average of ‘plus’ four, but there are others who earned an enviable eight-point increase, namely, Kealkil, Inchigeela and Cúl Aodha.
Three more West Cork entries increased their marks by seven points – Baltimore, Dunmanway and Aherla; with four more community groups in Lislevane, Ardfield, Newcestown and Castletownbere carving out an impressive six-point increase.
In naming Bere Island as a national winner of the islands award, the judges rewarded the island community for its work in ‘proceeding strongly on a range of fronts’, and for adhering to ‘a well-designed plan.’