Clonegal all spruced up for Entente Florale
The day that residents of the village of Clonegal had been waiting for finally arrived on Thursday as judges arrived to cast their eye over the village for the 'Entente Florale' competition.
The village has been anxiously preparing over the past weeks and months, having been chosen to represent Ireland in the Village category of the 2013 Entente Florale Competition. The village, representing the whole of Ireland, will face stiff competition from villages in Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia and the Czech Republic and will be hoping they can come out on top.
The 11 judges arrived in the village on Thursday and examined the huge efforts the locals have made for the prestigious competition.
'The judges spent about four hours here and it started with the hoisting of the Entente flag,' said John McCabe of the Steering Committee. 'They seemed to be very impressed with the place anyway and we're hopeful that we'll do well. A couple of the judges provided us with some feedback and it was all very positive.'
The only hitch on the day was the Irish weather and the heavens opened while the judges were being shown around the gardens of the national school by the children. 'I felt sorry for the children,' said John. 'The heavens opened and we got soaked! They were showing them around the herb garden and the little bug hotel and everything that they have and it was lashing rain.
'I informed the judges that this was typical Irish weather. Luckily it was only a shower and it cleared up for the rest of the afternoon!'
The committee were quick to thank everyone involved in making the village luck so great, including the FAS and TUS workers who put in 'trojan work'.
The committee and residents of Clonegal will face an anxious wait now until September when the winners will be announced at a ceremony in Belgium which five members of the committee will attend.
However until then, locals can rest safe in the knowledge that they did their village, their county and their country proud.