Town tidiest thanks to 6am sweeps
Sweeping streets and litter picking at 6am every day made sure Moynalty in Co Meath crossed the line to be crowned Ireland's Tidiest Town, residents said.
A total of 832 towns and villages entered the SuperValu National TidyTowns competition, with Kenmare and Killarney in Co Kerry and Ennis, Co Clare, also scooping top awards.
The judges found Moynalty - which also claimed the award of Ireland's Tidiest Village - was a beautiful village where the quality of life seems to be life enhancing.
Peter Rogers, of Moynalty Tidy Towns, said the victory was a dream come true for all the people who had worked hard down through the years.
He revealed that volunteers were out up to six nights a week mid-summer, with standards kept high throughout the winter.
"It's a 12-month thing, it doesn't just happen for the few months of the year," Mr Rogers said.
"A basic day would be cleaning the village, we'd get up maybe at 5.30am or 6am in the morning and do the litter and the sweep before we go to work and then go home, shower, and off to work.
"That's the commitment it takes to be at this standard.
"It's the same for other towns at the top. To me they're all winners, but finally we got across the line," he told RTE.
Kenmare was named Ireland's Tidiest Small Town, with Killarney awarded for being Ireland's Tidiest Large Town and Ennis retained their title as Ireland's Tidiest Large Urban Centre.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan said the win was a fantastic achievement for Moynalty after 53 years in the competition.
"My congratulations to Moynalty and all of the other prize-winners," he said at the ceremony in the Helix at DCU.
"I am always impressed by the ambition and enthusiasm of all those involved in the Tidy Towns effort.
"These people volunteer their time, effort and expertise, year on year, to help make their communities better places to live and work in."
Martin Kelleher, managing director at sponsors SuperValu, said the event acknowledges the work which countless individuals undertake to build community spirit and make their local area a better place to live.
Mr Hogan said the results are obvious in the attractive, well cared-for towns and villages we see throughout the country.
"It is clear that working together, getting to know your neighbours, and getting things done increases people's pride in where they live and helps to build vibrant communities," the minister added.