Tidy Towns awards
Picturesque Clonegal came out tops again in County Carlow in this year’s Tidy Towns award – but again, local joy was tempered by a touch of disappointment too, as they again just missed out on the overall national award.
It’s a measure of how much has been achieved by the Wexford border village that they can claim two prizes (a County Award, and a national Gold Medal for Category B) – and combined prize money of €1,900 – yet still feel that there’s more to be done.
Last year, Clonegal scored 322 points, only to be beaten for the overall prize by Letterkenny by just one point. They set out to improve upon their score this year, and they did just that, as their mark went up to 325. However, they lost out again, as Skerries in North Dublin – making a return to the competition after an absence of several years – scooped overall glory with 327 points.
Clonegal was also pipped in the race for the ‘Ireland’s Tidiest Village’ that they won last year, as Birdhill in Co. Tipperary scored 326.
Clonegal’s achievements are still something to be proud of however, and mention must be given too to Leighlinbridge, which is closely snapping at the Clonegal heels thanks to a score of 322.
Leighlinbridge also won a Gold Medal award in Category B, and took runner-up spot in the County competition. Third place went to Clonmore. Other winners included Carlow town (National Silver Medal, Category G) and Fenagh (Endeavour Award).
Marks all up in County Carlow
Of 19 Carlow entrants in this year’s Tidy Towns competition, a remarkable 17 of them managed to improve on their 2015 score.
One (Borris) stayed the same, and Carlow town was the only one to suffer a loss in marks. However, they were coming off a much higher starting base than most, where it is harder to maintain points or win new ones, and they still won a National Silver Medal award for their efforts.
The biggest points improvements were recorded by Ballon and Fenagh, whose scores went up by 12 points each when compared to their 2015 levels. However, Fenagh took the County Endeavour Award for greatest improvement as this represented a greater percentage increase for them since they were coming off a lower starting base.
Other double-digit improvements were recorded by Kildavin (up 11 points) and Ballinabranna (up 10).
The full Carlow scoreboard, from highest score downward, was: Clonegal 325 (up 3 on 2015); Leighlinbridge 322 (up 1); Clonmore 308 (up 8), Ballon 307 (up 12); Tullow 306 (up 6); Carlow 304 (down 2); St Mullns 304 (up 4); Rathanna 300 (up 5); Myshall 295 (up 2); Bagenalstown 294 (up 8); Rathvilly 294 (up 2); Ballymurphy 283 (up 4); Borris 283 (no change); Nurney 281 (up 6); Fenagh 274 (up 12); Tinryland 274 (up 7); Ballinabranna 268 (up 10); Kildavin 266 (up 11); Hacketstown 253 (up 6).