Villages and towns praised
Supervalu Tidy Towns: From Duleek to Annagassan, Julianstown to Stamullen, Termonfeckin and Tullyallen, local communities are doing their bit for the parish...
Tallanstown is again one of the key locations in this region when it comes to top marks in the National Tidy Towns awards and they finished just off the top spot in 2017.
But others areas like Ardee, Dunleer and Termonfeckin are building for an assault in the years ahead.
Here, we look at some of the areas and how the judges saw them.
Laytown: 246 points (238 in 2016)
A number of premises especially stood out on adjudication day. The Tara House with it lovely coastal views was well presented with lots of seasonal flowers to its frontage. Once again the church and school were admired. Stacks pharmacy was brightly painted and neatly presented. Gilneas Lounge had lovely window boxes as had the supermarket.
The local shop at Alverno Heights was neatly presented and painted. We noted the dangerous condition of the rusting wire to the gabions on the access steps from the promenade to the beach.
The timbers planters to the Promenade helped give life to this important open space in the town and we thank the sponsors such as the Tara House, for their support here.
There was very little litter noted in the town centre on adjudication day so well done in upholding your standards in this category with your regular litter picking.
The bed full of tall verbena and low coastal planting at the entrance to Inse Bay was a delight and very well established.
Julianstown: 299 points (293)
The traditional steeple of St Marys Church and Parish Rooms on the approach from Laytown is a lovely gateway to the town and it is best appreciated on leaving the village with its lovely green creating a setting for it and its associated buildings.
In contrast the modern church designed by Liam McCormick, incorporating the old church portal, is a modem classic and you are so lucky to have such a gem of modern Irish Architecture in your village.
The mass of summer colour at the Lime Kiln certainly catches the eye of passing motorists.
On adjudication day the village core was free of litter although some broken glass and cigarette butts were noted at the bus shelter.
The whitewashed Mary Murphy cottage opposite the woodland was charming with its white picket fence.
Julianstown is a lovely village with a palpable sense of community which was very evident during our visit.
Stamullen: 240 points (228)
The village was very clean on the day of the visit and your bins were noted on paths busy with local walkers. Keep an eye on how often they need to be emptied, as this will let you know if they are being used and if they are in the right location.
The residential properties in the village were presented to a good standard so well done to all your residents. The open space area to the front of Mountain View was being mown on adjudication day and it really is a credit to all the residents who obviously put such care into this communal area.
In only your 4th year of participation you have demonstrated a real commitment to enhancing and improving Stamullen for locals and visitors alike.
Slane: 311 points (305)
The use of a muted 'Slane Green' on many of your community buildings and street furniture gave a real coherence to the streetscape. From the façade of the beautifully presented Conyngham Arms Hotel to the door of the health centre this soft colour complemented both historic buildings and newer additions.
Could you approach the owners to allow you use the empty windows for community displays? Perhaps to include works by the local school children or indeed a display promoting your Tidy Towns work.
The Green School programme has been a great success for you and we congratulate all pupils and teachers involved in St Patricks where the green flags were seen proudly flying on adjudication day.
The muted white and yellow themed planting to the name stone at Church lands was particularly admired.
Duleek: 243 points (237)
The recent restoration works done to key buildings in the core of your town are a delight to see. The sensitive restoration of Connells House with its fresh thatch contribute so much to the setting of the town green. How great to see that the Courthouse will now function as a community space for Duleek.
The Old Post Cafe harks back to earlier times and the bright bedding enliven the frontage of your main street pharmacy. The front lawn at the Garda station was pristine.
The clipped box 'welcome' and 'duleek' beds are also a lovely landscape feature and well maintained.The playground on Station Road was busy but well maintained.
The road surface at the Abbey Road junction is poor with new lines required to emphasis the pedestrian crossings.
Dunleer: 298 points (289)
The branded bilingual street names all looked very lovely - well done on this work.
The wonderful mural of St Bridget and the landscaping at the public toilet blocks was admired. Well done to the local art students who completed this and the information provided adjacent.
Connors Public House And Funeral Home looked lovely on the Main Street with its very interesting window display. The horse sculpture in the grounds of the nicely presented Market House looked well.
An artistic hand meant the windows of Wisteria Lane flower shop caught the eye of the adjudicator. On the Ardee road, Duffy's shop looked very well and also had a lovely display of Geraniums in a large upstairs display window.
50 new trees, 30 planters and 120 hanging baskets. This is a great achievement.
Dunleer should be highly commended for the tree adoption project offered to all families in the community and it was brilliant to see so many trees planted on the approach roads into Dunleer.
Your adjudicator felt that the grass area in front of Glen Dimplex was crying out for the planting of a few specimen trees.
Baltray: 241 points (236)
The 'Broken Arrow' pub now closed was nicely painted indicating that great community pride.
In the Queensboro parking area your adjudicator noted a post-box from the reign of King Edward VII (1910). It was rusty and neglected but still in use. It' sympathetic restoration is recommended.
Your adjudicator loved the bird egg sculptures and the accompanying ID plate on the main grass area. Residents of Baltray are exceptionally fortunate to live in such a lovely area so rich in wildlife. It was great to be able to read information from Birdwatch Ireland on the little tern colony, which was once one of the biggest in Ireland
Your adjudicator didn't realise she had arrived in Baltray as there was no name sign, simply a directional arrow.
Reaghstown: 311 points (306)
The main project completed this year was the playground and the Slí na Sláinte routes. Well done on the efforts to have this installed. The church in the centre of Reaghstown looked very well.
The old Post Office looks wonderful and there is certainly some green fingered talent working on this front garden.
The beds at the entrance to Western FC looked fantastic on adjudication day - compliments to the volunteers who manage this area.
It is fantastic to hear that you have buzzards in the area. These raptors are beautiful to watch. On all the entrance roads into Reaghstown there is a raised stone bed in which a lovely nameplate is displayed.
Clogherhead: 280 POINTS (271)
Your heritage signs throughout the village and wider area help raise awareness of the history of many buildings, for example The Kippern on Crooked Street. Premises along the Main Street mostly look well. Levin’s bar was freshly painted with a nice colour scheme and the window boxes looked well here. The newly repainted community centre looked fantastic and really makes a statement for people arriving in your community.
Traditional buildings were sympathetically restored and looked lovely such as the Irish Coast Guard unit at Port Oriel.
Your adjudicator was very interested to read of your ‘Fishing for Litter’ project supported by Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
Termonfeckin: 248 points (244)
In the centre of the village Flynn’s pub caught the eye and further up the Drogheda Road the Health Centre was presented nicely.
Sun Hill nursing home looked well and once the works are completed to its grounds this nursing home will really sit nicely within the village. The entrance to Celtic FC was very nicely presented. Both churches in the centre of the village appeared very well. The landscaping around the school and the mature trees made for attractive school grounds.
The crow sculpture at Rath View was great and celebrates the many hooded crows that were seen by your adjudicator whilst in Termonfeckin. Have these ever been counted?
Annagassan: 282 points (275)
It was a delight to drive over the wonderful bridge at Annagassan. This is very nicely maintained and your adjudicator particular liked to see the stoneworts and other plants growing on the stone work here. The old mill building, though now closed, was freshly painted and looked really well.
The Glyde Inn was located in a beautiful traditional redbrick two-storey building that looked well. Togher Credit Union presented well, painted
in its maritime colours. O’Neill newsagents also caught the eye, and it was good to see this business open and still serving the community – do keep supporting it.
Homes in An Rian looked very well as that the freshly whitewashed seats here.
Ardee: 314 points (307)
Well done on erecting 26 new street name signs throughout the town. You contributed over €1000 of your own money towards this initiative and it looked very well.
Lovely black and blue banners celebrating Ardee looked very well along the Main Street mounted on Victorian-styled posts.
There are some lovely period houses and buildings in Ardee and it would be good to see national political support to encourage more of such premises to be occupied.
The 1916 trees in Market Square were admired and it was great to have the explanations as to who they were dedicated. Blue public seating in Ardee looked well. The many statues and sculptures through Ardee were enjoyed, from the simple angel to the emotional Cuchulainn and Ferdia monument in Bridget Street.
The Riverwalk is a lovely amenity to have in the centre of the town.
Tallanstown: 327 points (323)
The church in Tallanstown look really well and the refurbished railings were admired. It was particularly interesting to read the history of their origin.
All premises in the centre were clean and bright. Hanging baskets and planters and wonderfully planted beds, really enhanced the centre of your 19th-century village built to house the workers on this Louth estate. The Spar shop was presented very nicely and it is noted that this was repainted.
The revamping of Glyde Ranger’s GFC Hall with new attractive blue curtained windows looked very well also and would catch the eye of any passing motorist.
Your adjudicator loved the ecology trail and opened trapdoors, looked into water troughs and particularly loved the wildlife garden on the Dundalk road.
Rathbrist cottages had a lovely display of hanging baskets and the beds at Glenview estate provided array of flowers perfect for pollinators. Homes in Castle View looked lovely also. Homes in Tallansfield Manor were very nicely presented.
Collon: 287 points (284)
Collon National School caught the eye of your adjudicator with its beautiful wildlife mural and maturing gardens. They have a compost bin which would link with in the ‘Sustainable Waste & Resource Management’ category of the competition.
Your plans to develop a heritage trail in the village are to be encouraged.
The building that housed the ‘Round house café’ was another striking premises unusual in style.
Collon pharmacy had a lovely window display whilst the paintwork and presentation of ‘Number 3 Old Bar & Restaurant’ looked great.
Stabannon: 295 points (288)
The National School was very nicely presented with a lovely garden, vegetable patch and fantastic playground facilities. Your adjudicator particular liked the link between the school and the church by the simple action of painting the doors the same colour.
The Cross Bar was nicely painted with adjacent outhouses and new green painted metal gates that looked well. The Parallel Bar was also nicely presented Well done on having an outdoor classroom and for the school being awarded its Biodiversity Green Flag.
Monasterboice: 244 points (233)
The development of the junior TidyTowns from Monasterboice has involved a lot of young people and built an understanding of your aims within the community. It was good to read that your participation in this competition has allowed many of your new residents to integrate within the community.
The new National School in Tenure was a beautifully designed building and we look forward to seeing the landscaped grounds completed next year.
Monasterboice Inn was very nicely presented and it was good to see ivy on the walls and a lot of planting in the very busy car park. Well done in erecting bird boxes and feeders at Ferney Park.
Your fortnightly and annual litter picks seem to be going from strength to strength. This is great news and your efforts here are to be commended. You have great support with 17 senior committee members, 24 junior committee members and over 50 volunteers.
Castlebellingham Kilsaran: 295 points (289)
It was great to see new businesses thriving including the Castle itself, and the Foleys Tearooms both of which would encourage any passer-by to stop and explore the village. The newly painted entrance to the church in Castlebellingham look really well, as did the archway into the Church in Kilsaran. The new school in Kilsaran is fantastic.
Tullyallen: 289 points (283)
The church is a very striking building in a commanding position with great wrought iron downpipes. It was of no surprise to learn of your success in the graveyard competition and the new seat of reflection was enjoyed. The bollard’s at the car park were nicely painted as were the new litter bins.
The shopping complex was well managed and Tullyallen pharmacy, the Beauty Room, Mace, the takeaway and the butchers (appropriately named ‘Lambs’), all looked very well. Ard Alainn was a lovely older residential estate in the village.