The Tidy Towns competition is a celebration of all that is best in Irish life, community spirit, a desire to enhance the environment and, above all, an example of how people working together can improve everyday life in towns and villages throughout the country.
Out of 832 towns and villages who took part in the competition Moynalty, Co Meath, was yesterday declared Ireland's tidiest town and village, with 316 marks.
This didn't happen overnight, as the adjudication reports for the village reveal.
It was the culmination of a three-year plan and during this year's inspections the village was resplendent with freshly painted houses, public spaces populated by trees and flower beds, and mundane service poles replaced by attractive lamp standards, among other improvements.
"Moynalty is a beautiful village where the quality of life seems to be life-enhancing," concluded the adjudicators.
We must also salute the towns of Kenmare, Co Kerry (Tidiest Small Town); Killarney, Co Kerry, (Tidiest Large Town) and Ennis, Co Clarke (Tidiest Large Urban Centre.)
"The Tidy Towns is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to build community spirit and make their local area a better place to live," said Martin Kelleher of SuperValu summing up the aims of the annual competition which has done so much to improve the appearance of rural, and indeed urban, Ireland.
We should also remember towns like Rockhill in Limerick, Kilross in Tipperary and Carrigans in Donegal who may have only achieved 180 marks, because at least they tried.