Fermoy 'cleans up' in the 2018 league against litter

Triumph tops off another remarkable year of achievements for the town

The contingent from Fermoy that travelled up to the capital with the trophy the town won for finishing at the top of the IBAL Litter League for 2018

Bill BrowneCorkman

Since last topping the final standings of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) in 2006, Fermoy had become the 'nearly town' - finishing twice in the top three and making it into the top 10 on a number of occasions.

The town finally put that tag firmly to bed this week after finishing top of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) league for 2018.

Having finished in pole position on last October's interim league table, hopes were high that Fermoy would remain top of the pile.

Speaking to The Corkman at the time, Paul Kavanagh, project manager for the Fermoy Tidy towns Group, said the standing was a reflection of the hard work done since the establishment of the five-year ‘Fermoy – A Cleaner Town’ initiative.

"We are now in a very strong challenging position for the overall national spot," he said.

To the unbridled delight of the Fermoy contingent who travelled to Dublin last Monday for the unveiling of the final 2018 table, his confidence proved to be well-founded.

Fermoy's triumph topped off what had, by any standards, been a remarkable 2018 for the town, which in addition to winning back its coveted IBAL 'Cleaner Than European Norms' designation, scooped the 'Best Improved Town' category in Cork County Council's Anti-Litter Challenge and broke the magical 300-point barrier in SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition.

In their report, IBAL judges were fulsome in their praise for the town, saying Fermoy had "exceeded its usual high standards of cleanliness throughout 2018".

"It was notable at many of the sites that great care has been taken not just with regard to litter but also overall presentation, with plenty of planting throughout," said the judges, who singled out Patrick Street, the residential areas surveyed, and Fermoy AFC and their grounds for particular praise.

The judges said it was evident that great care had been taken with the presentation of the local environment, describing the town as being "excellent" in relation to the overall lack of litter.

Speaking to The Corkman this week, Mr Kavanagh said Fermoy’s triumph was  a model for what can be achieved when an entire community comes together to achieve a goal.

"What struck me was the number of towns that fell down the table - this is what happens when you take your eye off the ball," he said.

"We have built up an immense civic pride in the town and it is now up to us to keep that momentum going to ensure we remain at the top of the league table," said Mr Kavanagh.

"This is a great credit to everyone who has worked so hard to make Fermoy a great place to work, live in and visit.  We are all on cloud nine," he grinned.

The chair of Fermoy Tidy Towns, Cllr Noel McCarthy, said Monday was a "proud day" for him personally and indeed the whole town. "This is not the culmination of our plan, far from it. Our next target is to improve our standing in the Tidy Towns competition, something that is well within our reach," said Cllr McCarthy.

"We have worked hard for many years to get back to the top of the league, and the fact that we have achieved that is testament to the many volunteers and people whose hard work made that possible," he continued. A point echoed by Fermoy Tidy Towns PRO Tadhg O'Donovan, who said th volunteers were "the real heroes".

Fermoy's final 2018 report card

R639 Dublin Road - Grade A:

'This road provided an excellent introduction to Fermoy - it was litter free throughout with some nice autumnal colours at the edge of the town'.

Coolmona - Grade B+:

'The overall presentation of this residential area was a good one with a great sense of trees, greenery and space throughout. However, there is a small amount of well scattered litter - mostly sweet papers and plastic bags. With a little extra effort this could easily be a top ranking site. There was a large dog fouling notice attached to a low wall'.

N72 Courthouse Road - Grade A:

'The road surface, signage and markings were in very good order along the N72 road. Closer to the town there was substantial colourful planting, creating a welcoming effect. This was a top ranking site throughout'.

Recycle Facility at Cork County Council Mart Car Park - Grade B:

'A notice re CCTV usage to detect fly tipping and rubbish dumping was located on a wall, some distance from the actual recycle units. The clothing and bottle/can units were in good condition while the car park itself was less well maintained with heavy weed growth and uneven car park surface, resulting in large puddles. A paper bag was stuffed between some units with other loose items and a mattress'.

Patrick Street - Grade A:

'The overall appearance of Patrick Street was a very fresh and clean one All aspects of the area surveyed were in very good order e.g. plant boxes, ornamental trees, signage, road surface and pavement - the latter creates a very positive impression'.

Richmond Hill - Grade A:

'This residential road is located on a hill, with little greenery but some residents have taken great care to provide same. No. 1 deserves a special mention for the beautiful display of dahlias. Railings, pathway, seating etc. were all in very good order. There was a complete absence of litter along Richmond Hill'.

College Road - Grade A:

'A very good road with regard to litter. The large green space, (pitches and health campus) managed by St. Colman's College was in exceptionally good order'.

Devlin Street - Grade A:

'The communal grass area was clear of litter, as was the main thoroughfare. A corner seating area was in good condition. Signage relating to 'Green Dog Walkers - Any Bag, Any Bin'.

Fermoy AFC - Grade A:

'The road leading to Fermoy AFC was lined on the right hand side with some lovely trees and at the entrance gate there was some colourful plant pots. All appeared in good order within the grounds with regard to litter'.

M8 Fermoy/Cork Link Road (from J15 - J18) - Grade B:

'Very clean leaving Fermoy entering the M8 @ J15. Small amounts of litter scattered here and there with more obvious amounts on the left hand side approaching Cork. The motorway maintenance was excellent. A variety of food related litter was present'.