Kenmare, which won the overall title in 2000, was named the tidiest small town, while Killarney was named the tidiest large town. Killarney won the overall title two years ago and was just one mark off again this year.
Mayor of Killarney Paddy Courtney praised the hard work of everyone involved.
“They were not expecting it this year for some reason but the work they put in was tremendous. The town is looking fantastic. Killarney people are very proud of their town and people all over town put in a sheer effort.
“There is sheer graft and several groups from Tidy Towns to Killarney Looking Good, to the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism to the council all co-operate. This is tremendous for such a busy tourist town as Killarney.
“We take our position as Ireland’s premier tourist location very seriously, and everybody in Killarney knows that we have to present a very positive image of the town in order to keep Killarney as the top tourist location in Ireland,” he said.
Kenmare’s success in the Tidy Towns this year was not just about picking up the litter, but also about a keen awareness of environmental issues, Patrick Connor-Scarteen, local councillor in Kenmare said.
“This is a great honour. There is a lot more to Tidy Towns than picking up paper and flower beds. There is a lot about working in an environmental way here and the Reenagross Heritage Trail was of importance too this year.”
Mayor of Kerry Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald said teachers and school children had to be congratulated in helping in making the county green.
“To have both the overall winners of the tidiest large and small towns is unprecedented, and for Killarney to be only a single point away from the overall award two years after last winning it, shows that they haven’t rested on their laurels,” Mayor Fitzgerald said.
The importance for tourism could not be overestimated, he said. He also paid tribute to the teams of volunteers around the county, who work hand in hand with council staff.