Medieval city cleans up again at nation's anti-litter awards
THE hits just keep on coming for Kilkenny as it retained its title as the cleanest town in the country.
The medieval city was also named Europe's most friendly and Ireland's tidiest and top tourism town last year.
Now Kilkenny has been named Ireland's cleanest town for the second consecutive year -- the first time this has been achieved by any town since the Irish Business Against Litter body initiated its awards for civic cleanliness in 2002.
Accepting the award at a ceremony at Dublin's Conrad Hotel, Kilkenny Mayor Martin Brett praised the local council, businesses and residents for doing their part to keep the city clean.
"Ireland is now presenting itself in a way that's clean and is proper and vibrant," he said.
"It means that when people are coming here, they're talking positively about Ireland."
But he said Kilkenny's spate of civic pride and tourism awards last year "didn't come about by accident". It was down to the "extraordinary effort by a lot of people".
He said that residents and local businesses had come together since the start of the recession to put the city in its best possible light.
"If we're to make a serious effort in relation to tourism, which is a big part of our economy, we have to make the effort to keep it clean and tidy and prosperous," he told the Irish Independent.
He said the city's Green Schools Agenda, in which he visits local schools to stress the importance of recycling and binning litter, was also instrumental in instilling the right mindset in children.
Meanwhile, Cavan town was the first runner-up in the competition, followed by Tramore, Co Waterford; Clonmel, Co Tipperary; and Waterford city.
Of the 42 towns and cities taking part in the survey, 19 were deemed to be cleaner than European norms, 16 were found to be clean to European norms and five were found to be moderately littered, including the area around Dublin Airport.