This year’s TidyTowns awards for the South West and Midwest region were presented at a prize-giving ceremony in Ennis. The winners were presented with their awards by Minister of State, Pat Breen, T.D., and Niall O’Callaghan of Supervalu, sponsors of the competition.
Minister Breen, spoke of the recently announced scheme which will allow TidyTowns committees to apply for a grant of between €1,000 and €4,000.
Minister Breen said, “Generations of people in communities have volunteered with TidyTowns to make our country a place we can all be proud of.
“I have nothing but admiration for the volunteers across the country and this grant scheme is recognition from the Government of the huge contribution made by citizens in their own community.”
Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the TidyTowns competition and the Minister said the grant scheme is part of the Department’s celebration of that milestone.
Ennis won the regional title, as well as Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre. Other County Clare communities to receive awards included Kilrush, Mountshannon, Ballynacally, Ballyvaughan, Quin, Tuamgraney and Lisdoonvarna.
Minister Breen added: “These awards are just a small reward for the efforts of so many volunteers who take pride in their home town and work tirelessly to make it a better place now and for future generations.
“The unselfish effort and generosity displayed by these volunteers makes a huge difference in our communities.”
Interest in the TidyTowns competition has been stronger than ever in recent years with a record 870 communities entering the competition in 2017.
The competition has run since 1958 and is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development, it has been sponsored by SuperValu since 1992.