Friday 19 October 2018

A year of fruitful efforts by Charleville Tidy Towns group

Mike McGrath's Charleville

Charleville was awarded 273 marks in the Tidy Towns National Competition for 2017, up from 262 in 2016. The extra eleven marks represented a percentage increase of 4.198% which was the highest percentage increase in North Cork, and for this Charleville won an endeavour award, the award given to the city/town/village in each of the 29 regions, which achieved the highest percentage increase from the previous year.

Áine McMahon of the Charleville Tidy Town Committee here presents a brief review of the work they have undertaken during the past year, and extend sincere thanks to everybody for their support in the past and are again appealing for support in 2018, so that they can take on additional projects during the coming year.

The following review of the past year will give an idea of the many projects embarked on by the committee during the past year.

Chief among these was the re-designing and getting the fountain back in working order again. The fountain wasn't in operation for some time and water was leaking out but, as it wasn't coming onto the street, it proved impossible to ascertain where it was going or how to remedy the problem.

It was decided to redesign the fountain so that the two major industries in Charleville, dairying and stainless-steel manufacture, would be represented.

"To overcome the problem of leakage/seepage a large stainless-steel container was designed to hold the water. A pump circulates the water through a tipped milk churn into the container which evokes the era of the old creamery days when milk was tipped from the churns into the weighing scales.

To reinforce this theme, a creamery cart, complete with four milk churns was added. The border all around was planted with flowers for added interest and colour.

This project was made possible by the support of Kerry Group, Cork County Council, BCD Engineering, Plate-Tek Engineering, Senator Engineering, Dairy & Engineering Services, John Frawley Electrical, Maurice Carroll, Haulier, Charleville Fire Brigade and the Gardai. The planting was done by lady members of Charleville Tidy Towns," said Ms McMahon.


The planted bed at the Plaza, directly in front of the library was unsightly. Many of the shrubs had suffered severe damage and others were overgrown and unsuitable for this location. Tidy towns volunteers, along with Tus workers undertook the heavy work of clearing the damaged shrubs/trees.

The soil was then levelled and raked by volunteers and Tus workers and got ready for planting. Again the ladies selected suitable shrubs, weed block was put in place and the shrubs planted. A layer of clean stones completed this project.

We were helped to spread the stones by some scouts from the local troup who volunteered their services that evening. We thank them and their leaders for their help in helping us to weed the car park that evening also.


The derelict house on Smith's Lane which once showed paintings of Mrs. Doyle and Fr. Jack on its windows had suffered severe weather damage and become an eyesore.

We sought the help of the art students and teacher in St. Mary's Secondary School and challenged them to come up with a design for the outside wall. The art teacher got the three first year classes to work on this. Charleville Tidy Towns was presented with three sketches, from which one was chosen. The teacher then worked with senior students to refine this as it wasn't practical for a busy street.

The painter and art teacher then worked together to bring this design to life. The finished product is a credit to them and the talented students of St Mary's and we are delighted to showcase local talent.


They took part again this year in the Anti-Litter Challenge run by Cork County Council. This competition aims to raise awareness of the problem of litter on our streets which, unfortunately, is a major problem. The huge number of cigarette butts carelessly discarded on the streets, despite the number of bins available, reflects very badly on our town.

We are hugely indebted to Mr. John Moloney and his staff on Cork County Council for the tremendous work they do in maintaining our streets as clean as possible. We will not see an improvement on our streets until we all realise that it is the responsibility of every single person to dispose responsibly of their own litter.

This year the committee enlisted the help of local schools and they thank them for their enthusiastic participation. St. Anne's Primary School and CBS Primary School looked after the streets outside their premises for the entire duration of the competition, while transition year students from St. Mary's Secondary School and CBS Secondary looked after Main St during the first judging period.

As they were then on holidays Tidy Towns volunteers did a litter-pick every week day morning for the two remaining judging periods.


The committee extends thanks to the ladies of Charleville Flower and Garden Club who do a wonderful job of maintaining the Garden of Remembrance, as well as to the individuals who cut the grass there regularly. It is looking really splendid with the planting this year of carpet roses, which will be in bloom again next year, and also the addition of some summer bedding.

The Flower and Garden club also maintain the rose beds behind Charleville Library, which always look stunning.


Kerry Group kindly offered the services of some of their staff members to work in the community on July 7th. They worked in the Garden of Remembrance, at the Plaza and at the flower-bed opposite Amber Service Station at the southern entrance to the town, as well as painting the bollards on the Kilmallock Road. Their help was greatly appreciated.


We were delighted to be invited on two occasions by the residents of Hillview Drive in Broghill to offer assistance for a clean-up of their estate which they organised. Ian Doyle arranged with County Council staff to pick up the bags of rubbish collected. We would be happy to offer assistance to any other estate that is organising a clean-up of their estate.


There is a huge amount of talent and goodwill in young people and we do them a disservice if we don't ask them to use their talents for the good of the community. We are very fortunate that all the local schools we approached this year were so willing to help.

Two primary and two secondary schools took part in the Anti-Litter Challenge and were of tremendous help to us. There is benefit also in raising awareness of the litter problem among young people.

The beautiful, eye-catching facade of the "Rainbow House" on Smith's Lane is a credit to the art teacher and students of St. Mary's Secondary School.

The hand-painted birds on the notice board in the park is the work of Transition Year students in St. Mary's and the lovely paintings inspired by the bug hotel which they helped set up last year is the work of students of St. Anne's School.

The display of bluebells in May under the trees behind the cemetery was the work of students of CBS Primary School and their teachers. Wildflower seeds were harvested in Autumn and scattered in Spring at Canon Burke Place by pupils of St. Mary's. Thanks to all school staff and pupils who helped us in any way.


Generally, the group meets on Monday evenings at 7pm to tackle whatever work needs doing. This varies from planting flowers to clearing weeds, cutting overgrown hedges, litter picking, painting and generally keeping the town looking clean and tidy.

They thank all who help in this, especially Cork County Council, with whom we work closely and who have given us great support. We thank all the traders who brighten the streetscape by painting their premises and putting out lovely floral displays.

"We took on some very significant projects in 2016/17 and sincerely thank all those who helped us complete these projects.

"Our challenge for 2017/18 is to again undertake at least one significant project in each of the eight categories for which marks are awarded in this competition. We have already started to plan and hope to involve many more people /groups in the coming year and we hope to have the continued support of local people," concluded Ms McMahon.