A Louth village closely linked to the legends of Cuchulainn won the coveted Tidy Towns 2010 for its idyllic charm today.
Beating 764 competitors, the manor village of Tallanstown scooped the honour for the first time in its history.
As well as the main prize it also scored the highest marks in its own category - the tidiest village.
The award success was said to be 26 years in the making.
The village’s Tidy Town’s committee chairman Richard Barry admitted: “It’s not been an overnight success.”
He added: “It will mean an awful lot to the community because we were a very run-of-the-mill, probably not very nice village at all and we set to making it a better village and our basic aim is to make Tallanstown a better place to live in, to work in and to visit.”
John Gormley, Environment Minister, announced the first time success at a ceremony in the Helix at DCU
“It is a remarkable achievement to win this award in the face of such strong competition and I wish to express, again, my deep appreciation and admiration for the work that all involved carry out in their communities,” he said.
The inspector’s report said: “You have managed to carry out works that complement your rural setting without overpowering or detracting from it. Well done on this.”
Tallanstown, the youngest village in Louth, sits on the banks of the Glyde and beside the Louth Hall estate, the ancient home of St Oliver Plunkett’s family. It also featured prominently in the legends of Cuchulainn.
The village was also closely associated with the Foster family and a sculpture in the village commemorates Sir Vere Foster, who helped set up Ireland’s national schools and developed the famous handwriting copy books.
Other Tidy Town winners were Lismore, Co. Waterford which won the small town award; Killarney, Co Kerry for the large town award; and Kilkenny which secured the large urban centre prize.