Tidy does it for Clon
It may have been a summer to forget for the people of Clonakilty but they emerged into the autumn light blinking in the glow of being awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town 2012.
The awards were made this week at the Helix in Dublin, with the West Cork town that was plagued with severe floods this summer, recognised for the work put in both before and after the waters decimated the town.
Along with the perpetual trophy and the €5,000 prize money, Clonakilty also received €1,500 from Fáilte Ireland in the tourism category of the annual awards.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said the Chair of the Tidy Towns committee, Catherine O’Connor.
“We had a set-back with the floods earlier this year but everyone in the town takes such a massive pride in the competition and the town in general. Even when people were dealing with their own problems after the flood with their homes, the competition still means a lot to them.”
Clonakilty has retained the Gold Medal standard for the past decade with Ms O’Connor praising the work of the committee and the town as they take more steps to taking the big prize.
“This is a great psychological boost to the people of Clonakilty after the summer we have had,” said the Mayor of Clonakilty, Councillor Cionnaith Ó Suilleabháin.
“The competition is vitally important to the town and the organisers noted the spirit and the bond in the community, which the committee sowed the seed of back when we first entered the competition.”
Mr Ó Suilleabháin also noted the presence of the Jungle City as being a significant statement for the town, highlighting the openness of the community to new ideas.
The prizes were awarded by Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan TD, and the Managing Director of SuperValu, Martin Kelleher.
The winners in the Cork region were Coolagown in North Cork, Kinsale in Cork South and Clonakilty in Cork West. Other towns that were commended for their work included Millstreet, Kilworth, Bllincollig, Macroom, Rathbarry and Eyeries.
The awards also included the Tidytown Heroes category which were awarded to members who have made a significant contribution to the competition in their areas. Maura Allen from Carrigaline and Mary Nagle from Kinsale were amongst those awarded with the distinction at this years awards. Bere Island also received the Island's Award for the work done on the West Cork island.
Abbeyshrule in Longford was named as the overall winner for Ireland’s Tidiest Village while Westport in Mayo received the title of Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town and Ennis in Clare was named Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.
To see the full results of your town in detail, visit tidytowns.ie.