'This means everything': Tidy Towns 2019 winners celebrate beating out record number of entrants

A village frequented by celebrities such as singer Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones has won this year’s Tidy Towns competition.

'This means everything': Tidy Towns 2019 winners celebrate beating out record number of entrants

A village frequented by celebrities such as singer Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones has won this year’s Tidy Towns competition.

But a community effort involving every resident in Glaslough, Co Monaghan is behind the win which has seen it crowned Ireland’s tidiest town for 2019.

It was a double victory for Glaslough which also took home the title of Ireland’s tidiest village, beating off stiff competition in that category from Terryglass, Co Tipperary.

This year’s SuperValu TidyTowns competition had a record number of 918 entries.

“This means everything. There is such a brilliant sense of pride in the village and community.

"It is not just the volunteers but it is a community effort involving the residents of the village and volunteers from all the 12 organisations in the village,” Glaslough Tidy Towns Committee coordinator Louise Duffy said.

"This is a whole community effort. You might have 40 or 50 volunteers involved working directly on Tidy Towns duties but then you have all of the community groups involved.

"There are over 500 people in the village and every resident made such an effort," she added.

Glaslough last took away the big prize more than 40 years ago.

The border village has been host to a number of celebrities over the years including Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney, who married Heather Mills in Castle Leslie which adjoins the village.

Residents for this year’s competition put on a special effort, growing thousands of plants and creating floral displays all over the village.

Committee chairperson Gareth Corrigan said everybody in the village helps out.

“It’s good craic. It is hard work but you do have fun. Everybody works as part of a team. We all get tired but we keep plodding on and look where it got us today," he said.

Westport, Co Mayo was awarded the trophy for Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town while Blackrock, Co Louth beat Clonakilty, Co Cork and Listowel, Co Kerry to be named the tidiest small town.

Ennis, Co Clare took away the prize for Tidiest Large Urban Centre.

Chairperson of Ennis Tidy Towns Committee Cormac McCarthy said the residents of the town had put in a lot of hard work in the last 12 months.

Cobh Tidy Towns committee celebrate their category win at the 2019 Tidy Towns
Cobh Tidy Towns committee celebrate their category win at the 2019 Tidy Towns

“Ennis has won the award before but it was up to us to maintain the high standards and work in new areas of biodiversity.

"There are 20 people on the committee but we would not have got this award but for the work of the people of Ennis and all the different groups there,” he said.

Schoolchildren from Castleisland , Co Kerry and Corrofin, Co Clare were the joint winners of the Climate Action Air Quality Youth Award.

Students from Castleisland Community College as part of Transition Year introduced the town to recycling.

“We learned a lot and so did the community, it was so worthwhile,” student Julianne Murphy said.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said the commitment and enthusiasm of the Tidy Twins committees remains strong.

Announcing a €1.4 million allocation for Tidy Towns Committees, Minister Ring said all of the towns and villages involved in the competition should benefit from the investment.

“It is this passion and pride that has made our towns and villages not only attractive and welcoming for visitors, but has created a sense of place for those who live work and raise families there," he commented.

He said Glaslough has been consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local, region and European level.

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