There was a strong Munster presence among the winners with Kenmare and Killarney in Co Kerry and Ennis in Co Clare scooping top awards.
Moynalty, also named Ireland’s tidiest village, pipped Killarney by one point with 316 marks out of a total of 400.
Killarney, who took the top prize in 2011, was named Ireland’s tidiest large town in this year’s competition which received entries from 832 towns and villages.
With 312 marks, Kenmare took the tidiest small town title while Ennis, with 314, was named Ireland’s tidiest large urban centre.
Judges described Moynalty, with a population of over 10,000, as a beautiful village where the quality of life seemed to be life enhancing.
Enda Donoghue of Moynalty Tidy Towns said they had a policy of picking up litter almost as soon as it appeared.
The judges described Moynalty’s litter control as excellent, pointing out that its twice daily litter picks were unquestionably the most effective tool for keeping the village-litter free.
Last year the village was awarded 310 marks, just two marks behind the overall winner, Abbeyshrule, Co Longford.
“Even if we did not win today, it’s still good to see your village looking well,” said Mr Donoghue.
Michael Connor-Scarteen of Kenmare Tidy Towns said they won the national title in 2000 and had made numerous improvements made by residents.
“Lots of people painted houses and put up extra hanging baskets. There was also great attention paid to cleanliness,” he said.
“We are up six points on what we achieved in the competition last year and feel we have done better than other years.”
Yvonne Quill from Killarney Tidy Towns said they were thrilled to score the second highest marks, five more than they were awarded last year. “This competition is not just about flowers, it’s about the overall environment and the heart of the people who live in it.”
Áine Purcell of Ennis Tidy Towns said it was the second year in a row the town was named the tidiest large urban centre. “We asked everybody living in Ennis to come out every week and give the town an hour of their time every week and they did. It was a real community effort,” she said.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan described Moynalty as a very worthy winner at the awards ceremony in the Helix at Dublin City University.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Moynalty after 53 years in the competition,” he said. “It is clear that working together, getting to know your neighbours and getting things done increases people’s pride in where they live and helps to build vibrant communities.”
Interest in the competition has been consistently high in recent times with the number of entries exceeding 800 in each year of the last three years.
Tidy Towns, launched in 1958 by the Irish Tourist Board, is organised by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and has been sponsored by SuperValu since 1992.
A full run down of points for every town and village that entered this year’s competition can be found here