GARVEY'S SuperValu was the venue on Friday evening for the annual Tidy Towns presentation of awards.
An open invitation was extended to the community to come and celebrate the town's involvement in the 2012 Tidy Towns competition. Garveys hosted this gathering as part of their sponsorship of Tidy Towns activity in the Castleisland area.
Committee secretary Mary Walsh spoke of the fantastic community spirit that has grown in the town over the past couple of years.
"It was this spirit that contributed to a gain of 12 extra marks in 2012," she said.
The various groups from all areas of the town who give their time with so much pride and enthusiasm were all represented. Cahereens West won the award for Best Volunteer Group. "Cahereens West took their estate by the scruff of the neck last year and ,with the support of young and old on the estate, achieved their goals" said Mary Walsh.
"They sourced support from bodies such as Kerry County Council the Rural Social Scheme, NEKD and the Acquired Brain Injury group to name but a few and forged ahead with their plans."
The other residents groups, business people and individuals,many of whom work away quietly and anonymously also came in for the highest of praise. Three such people were also presented with awards sponsored by Garveys and, even though they wanted no publicity for their work on behalf of Castleisland, they got plenty on Friday night.
They are the people who 'adopted a road'. This involves litter control on a certain stretch of road throughout the year. Kathleen Murphy O'Connor of Dooneen keeps the Castleisland bypass from the Limerick Road round-about to the Tralee Road roundabout as well as her own area of Doneen litter free and Eamon and Liz O'Connor make sure that the popular walking area known as the Black Road is clean.
Tom Fleming, TD along with Cllr. Michael Gleeson and Cllr. John Joe Culloty were present and were praised for their continued support for Tidy Towns.
"One of most problematic areas of the town for the Tidy Towns Committee and which always comes to the notice of the judges is the area of Old Chapel Lane and the mart. The road from An Riocht to Old Chapel Lane was surfaced last week. This is thanks to Cllrs Bobby O'Connell, John Joe Culloty, John Sheahan, Michael Gleeson, Danny Healy Rae, Brendan Cronin and Breeda Moynihan Cronin each allocating €1,500 towards the work, a very sensible approach put forward by Cllr. Culloty in these cash strapped times," said an impressed Mrs Walsh.
Among the many agencies and bodies mentioned on the night were the local Kerry County Council engineer, Brendan Mulhern and his staff. Special mention for his availability and willingness to be of assistance always went to area foremen, Jerry Lenihan and to Kieran McGaley - who does such a continuously good job on keeping the streets clean. North & East Kerry Development drew praise for having helped on so many occasions with securing funding. FAS and its staff and workers past and present who can turn their hands to any job were also mentioned in favourable terms.
The schools in town were also praised and it was noted that they are all well-kept and the Castleisland Community College had good news for the Tidy Towns Committee when they revealed that they have been recently awarded their first Green School Flag.
"The Tidy Towns work for this year has been in progress since last June and much work has been done or started in preparation for the 2013 entry into the competition," Mary Walsh stated.
"There was a great turn out on Saturday for the Kerry Waste Disposal county clean up and if you missed it in your area or still have more to do there is another chance next weekend as the annual Spring Clean continues until the end of April. Bags, gloves and litter pickers are available from the committee members. Thanks to everyone from the Tidy Towns Committee. As always we are looking for more volunteers especially on the Main Street. A clean, tidy attractive town works in everyone's favour," she concluded.