County Hall was alive with Tidy Towns activities this week as the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea held a Mayoral Reception to recognise both the continuous efforts and outstanding achievements of this year’s Tidy Towns representatives.
This year, Cork County reached a record total of 18 medals, up from 14 in 2014. There was an average increase of 10% in marks across all medal categories, BRONZE medals up from 4 to 6, SILVER up from 5 to 6 and GOLD up from 4 to 6. And on top of these credits, there were TEN Awards given out to Communities and Individuals under the highly competitive ‘Special’ Awards categories.
For almost 60 years, Tidy Towns has been an annual event. Participating in the competition requires a huge amount of effort by volunteers, who by giving up their own time, help to build community relations and foster a sense of pride in their communities. These efforts build better and more inclusive communities, not only for those that reside there but for tourists, for visitors and for the business community. Participation is encouraged at every level, through schools, businesses, public bodies and the individual.
Tidy towns is now so much more than tubs and shrubs. It has developed into a competition that targets waste management and biodiversity as well as education and awareness. It strives to foster pride, in not just how a place looks but in how people feel about that place, about their community.
Commenting on the phenomenal Cork success at this year’s Tidy Town Awards, the Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea said “I want to pay tribute to all the volunteers and champions in each of our Tidy Towns groups across the County who are so dedicated to making their towns and villages look so well. Cork has again achieved huge success in the competition and it clearly shows that the partnership approach of the local authority working closely with Tidy Towns Groups is a winning one. Cork County Council will continue to works with all towns and villages who enter into this wonderful competition and continue to support them financially and resourcefully anyway we can”.
Towns and villages from Bere Island to Kildorrery were in attendance and were the delighted recipients of a €500 gift from Cork County Council toward their ongoing efforts across the various towns and villages. Also in attendance were the Individual Heros, Carrigaline’s Betty O’Riordan and Rose O’Mahony, as well as the National Title holder, Kinsale’s Charles Henderson.
Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey complemented the Tidy Towns groups on their dedication and hard work and acknowledged the incredible efforts made by all to achieve such remarkable results. He noted how he has witnessed firsthand the differences that can be made with participation in the Tidy Towns and how the results are much more than what we see but that the real success is evident with community spirit and a shared sense of pride.
The full summary of all award categories and winners from Cork are as follows:
- 6 Gold Medals – Coolagown, , Clonakility, Kinsale, Rathbarry, Ballincollig, and COBH [very 1st ever gold medal]
- 6 Silver Medals – Bantry, Eyries, Rosscarbery, Timoleague, Youghal, Carrigaline.
- 6 Bronze Medals – Lislevan, Ballydehob, Castletownroche, Skibbereen, Macroom, Bandon
- Endeavour Awards – Kildorrery, Midleton & Coachford
- Individual Hero’s – Michael Smith (Kinsale), Betty O Riordan (Carrigaline), Rose O Mahony (Carrigaline).
- Highly Commended – Kiskeam
- Youth Award – Togher
- Islands Award – Bere Island with Sherkin Island highly commended
- Tourism Towns Award Highly commended large – Cobh Highly commended small – Clonakilty