BY JACKIE KEOGH
WEST Cork received a record number of gold, silver and bronze medals in this year’s National Tidy Towns Awards.
County Mayor Cllr John Paul O’Shea congratulated all of the towns and villages, as well as the individual, island and county award winners, following the awards ceremony at The Helix on Monday, 28th.
Those in receipt of gold awards included Clonakilty, Rathbarry and Kinsale. This year’s silver award winners were: Bantry, Timoleague, Eyeries and Rosscarbery; with bronze awards going to Skibbereen, Ballydehob, Lislevane, Bandon and Macroom.
Clonakilty, Rathbarry and Rosscarbery also took county awards and Charles Henderson of Kinsale Tidy Towns Committee was presented with the national title of the SuperValu Community Hero Award.
Charles, who was nominated by fellow Kinsale Tidy Towns Committee members and local Kinsale SuperValu retailer Michael Smith, is one of the founding members of Kinsale Tidy Towns and has been instrumental in motivating and encouraging the local community for more than 30 years.
This year, Bere Island is celebrating winning the Tidy Island Award for the ninth consecutive year after the islanders scored an impressive 306 points out of a maximum of 450.
Overall in Cork County, this year’s results show a four-medal increase from 14 in 2014 to 18, as well as an average increase in marks of 10% across all medal categories.
The number of gold medals has increased from four last year to six this year. The silverware has increased from five to six; and the number of bronze medals has increased by two to six.
The Mayor paid tribute to all the volunteers and champions in each of the Tidy Towns groups who are dedicated to making their towns and villages look so well. He said: ‘Cork has again achieved huge success in the competition and it clearly shows that the partnership approach of the local authority working closely with Tidy Towns Groups is a winning one.’
With more than 1,000 representatives of Tidy Towns groups from all over the country attending the award ceremony in The Helix, it is evident that the popularity of the competition is growing.
This year marked the highest number of entries to date, with 862 towns and villages entering a competition that is organised by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and sponsored by SuperValu.
Every town has its own story of success, including Skibbereen, which, for the first time in its 56-year history, has won a national medal.
Jerome Dwyer, the committee chairman, and Francis Hunt, the committee press officer, said they are happy that the efforts of the hardworking committee have been recognised with a bronze medal.
‘We have so many people to thank, including the council employees and FAS,’ said Jerome who, together with Francis, Timmy McDonald, Bryan Harris, Sheila O’Regan and Anne Twomey, made the early morning trip to the Helix in Dublin on Monday for this year’s results.
Looking back over the last ten years, Skibbereen has made remarkable progress and increased its marks from 242 in 2005 to 305 this year – a figure that includes an 11-mark increase this year alone.
‘To be awarded an additional 11 marks this year exceeded our wildest expectation,’ said Francis Hunt.
‘We completed a number of projects, all of which impressed the judges,’ she pointed out.
The roundabout at the Schull Road Junction was perhaps one of the most impressive as it involved a lot of hard labour and impressive planting.
The imaginative use of coloured stone, artistic edging and bright red roses offset by a perfectly maintained green is one of the most striking images in the town.
Jerome Dwyer said: ‘The work that went into this project is just a snapshot of the hard work that was carried out throughout the town over the last 12 months and the fact that three contractors gave of their time free of charge speaks volumes for the sponsorship and support the organisation has received – and for which we are truly grateful.’
Rathbarry (319); Eyeries (316); Lislevane (312); Sherkin Island (300); Newcestown (291); Ardfield (288); Kilcrohane (286); Glandore (281); Cuil Aodha (258); Lowertown (256) Toormore (255); Whiddy Island (255); Castletownshend (254); Inchigeela (247); Ballylickey (246); Goleen (246); Dursey Island (245); Lisavaird (236); Crookhaven (216).
Rosscarbery (317); Timoleague (313); Ballydehob (312); Bere Island (306); Glengarriff (301); Union Hall (295); Beal Atha an Ghaorthaidh (292); Courtmacsherry (286); Baltimore (281); Schull (272); Kealkil (267); Aherla (251); Ballinspittle (239); Coachford (226).
Skibbereen (305); Dunmanway (287); Castletownbere (281).
Clonakilty (320); Bantry (312).