BY JACKIE KEOGH
AND HELEN RIDDELL
WEST Cork has taken three gold medals, three silver, and seven bronze, in the national Tidy Towns competition.
Clonakilty held on to its gold medal status – its 17th consecutive gold – to take top billing with 353 marks, just two behind the overall winner, Ennis.
Of the 845 entries in the competition, Bantry joins Clonakilty – which also took the award for Cork West – and Rosscarbery in taking gold, while Skibbereen, Kinsale and Carrigaline brought home well-deserved silver.
Third, with bronze, were Bandon, Kilbrittain, Macroom, Ballydehob, Eyeries, Rathbarry and Timoleague.
‘The medals are a rich reward for the heroic efforts that all of the volunteers have put in over the last two years,’ according to Diarmaid Cregan, co-chair of the Clonakilty committee.
Skibbereen’s committee chair Jerome Dwyer said: ‘It’s the second silver for Skibbereen having increased our marks by nine to 340.’ With a view to one day achieving gold, Jerome said, ‘We need extra bodies to enhance our chances in the year ahead.’ The Skibbereen performance comes hot on the heels of its win in the large town category in the Pride of Place competition.
Michael Healy, chairman of the Bantry committee, said they are delighted to have taken their second gold medal since 2012. ‘The awards were cancelled in 2020, so Bantry has two years of hard work to exhibit in this year’s competition,’ said Michael, ‘and the volunteers were rewarded with an incredible 13 additional marks, bringing Bantry’s total to 347.’
Meanwhile, Bere islanders were celebrating their top win on Friday, as were fellow West Cork islanders, on Sherkin, who took second.
It is Bere Island’s 13th consecutive win, having scored an impressive 334 points out of a maximum of 470, with Sherkin just five points behind, at 329.