URBAN beauty is clearly a consistent thing in north Kerry as Listowel achieved its fifth gold medal in a row at the national Tidy Towns competition on Monday.
There was no Seamus Darby-like shadow obstructing Listowel's march towards a clean environment when it was announced as a gold medallist in its category at the national ceremony on Monday.
Tidy Towns organisers in Listowel were over the moon with the win and the celebrations continue this week in a town where everyone came together in 2012 to retain the gold medal.
"This year, above all, showed what is possible when everybody comes together," Chairman of the Listowel Tidy Towns group Jimmy Moloney said.
Listowel went up four points in the judging tables overall, however it lost one because of litter noticed on the days it was visited by judges. The town gained one point in the built environment category; one in landscape; one in wildlife and natural amenities and one in waste minimisation.
Meanwhile, Listowel was only two points behind the winner of the best small town award, Clonakilty, in another significant boost in performance; the north Kerry capital was four points behind the winner of the category last year.
"Across the board it was all down to the hard work and help of everyone. The vintners and traders pulled out all the stops in making their premises more attractive this year, which led to the jump in the built environment. The new-look bridge was also a huge help here.
"Landscaping was helped no end with projects like the new flowerbeds on Market Street and the colourful garden of Jimmy Healy out the Tralee Road. Our new biodiversity project in Gurtinard and our flower-planting programme to attract bees was mentioned in the wildlife category and in waste minimisation the pupils and staffs of our national schools were singled out for their efforts to get green flags.
"It just goes to show what can happen when everybody gets behind the campaign and Listowel people can be really proud of the achievement. We are absolutely delighted with our performance," Cllr Moloney added.
Among the workers thanked for the extraordinary job of keeping Listowel looking beautiful all year were the outdoor staff of the town council and the workers from the community employment and rural social scheme.