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Saturday 19 January 2019

Ferns Tidy Towns reflect on a successful year

Ferns Tidy Towns annual presentation at the Courtyeard. Front: Scoil Naomh Maodhog green schools winners, Bethany Reddin, Andrea Mulhall, Aoibheann Mulhall, Lucy Breen, Mia Murphy, Leah Murphy and Leah Connor. Middle row: Kathleen Dunbar-Reddin collecting her brother’s, Fran Dunbar,Coolbawn best residential garden award; Phil Murphy, McMurrough Court, best residential area award; Ann Doyle (Doyle’s bar), best public house; chairperson, Mary Gethings; proprietor, Carol Walsh the Unique Escape best shopfront award and Margaret Plummer best commerical shop front award. Back row: committee, Bernie Doyle, Angela Breen, Melissa Kehoe, Kathleen Denby, Angela Redmond Mulhall, Teresa Bailey and Rose McElwain
Ferns Tidy Towns annual presentation at the Courtyeard. Front: Scoil Naomh Maodhog green schools winners, Bethany Reddin, Andrea Mulhall, Aoibheann Mulhall, Lucy Breen, Mia Murphy, Leah Murphy and Leah Connor. Middle row: Kathleen Dunbar-Reddin collecting her brother’s, Fran Dunbar,Coolbawn best residential garden award; Phil Murphy, McMurrough Court, best residential area award; Ann Doyle (Doyle’s bar), best public house; chairperson, Mary Gethings; proprietor, Carol Walsh the Unique Escape best shopfront award and Margaret Plummer best commerical shop front award. Back row: committee, Bernie Doyle, Angela Breen, Melissa Kehoe, Kathleen Denby, Angela Redmond Mulhall, Teresa Bailey and Rose McElwain

Pádraig Byrne

Ferns Tidy Towns stalwart Mary Gethings was honoured by her local community last week as they gathered for their local Tidy Towns Awards and to reflect on what had been a successful year. Mary's efforts as Chairperson of the group were well and truly acknowledged back in September when she was crowned the overall winner of the SuperValu Community Hero Award.

The first time a national award has been brought back to Ferns, the group were keen to mark Mary's achievement and she was surprised with a special presentation by treasurer Teresa Bailey at their local awards. Mary was described as someone who is involved in every project, often as leader and chief organiser, and more often someone who works away in the background not seeking praise or recognition. With social integration being close to her heart, Mary tries to get everyone involved in projects locally and they are planned with this in mind.

A busy lady, Mary also volunteers as a Community First Responder and serves on several other committees locally and it was fitting that the local community honoured her at last week's ceremony. However, far from wanting it to be all about her, as Chairperson Mary was more concerned with acknowledging the achievements of the community as a whole, pointing out that Ferns had gained 7 points in this year's competition. Also in Wexford County Council's Environment Awards, the group managed to win Best Community Waste Prevention and came second in the Community Biodiversity Project section, as well as receiving a gold standard award for participation in the North Wexford 2k clean which saw a whopping 285 bags of litter collected.

'All this work wouldn't be possible without the help of various volunteers who give their time so generously,' Mary said. 'The committee would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped throughout the year, the residents, the businesses, the school children, Phil and the CE scheme, Kevin from RSS, WCC and anyone who helped with painting, sweeping, weeding, watering, picking litter etc and of course the hard working Committee. Your continued support is very much appreciated.'

Onto the awards and it was McMurrough Court who scooped the coveted title of best residential area, while there was also a big win for Fran Dunbar of Shantalla, Coolbawn, who won best residential garden. Winners of the Best Presented Shop-fronts were then announced, with this year's standard said to be very high. Best shop went to The Unique Escape, best pub went to Doyle's Bar and best commercial went to Applegreen.

The Junior Tidy Towns group also received prizes in recognition of their hard work throughout the year helping with various projects.

Finally the Green Schools Committee were presented with Bug Hotels to acknowledge their ongoing projects to help our declining pollinators.

A wonderful atmosphere of community spirit pervaded proceedings and Ferns Tidy Towns Group is hopeful of making even further improvements in 2019!

Gorey Guardian

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