Dublin cleans up with three titles in Tidy Town contest
THREE Dublin communities are celebrating success in the Tidy Towns competition.
Skerries scooped gold as officially the tidiest town in Co Dublin, while there were also wins for Dalkey and Shankill.
While the top winner is Abbeyshrule, Co Longford, results for towns, villages and suburbs across the country meant many more celebrations.
In Co Dublin, the seaside town of Skerries was enjoying the kudos of coming tops in the county with a gold medal win.
The local committee achieved one of the highest scores in the country with 306 points, just six less than Abbeyshrule.
Bronze medal wins were being toasted today in both Dalkey, which scored 293 points, and Shankill which came close behind with 290.
Even in the heart of the city, Temple Bar scored a respectable 267 points despite hosting revellers and large numbers of visitors on a round-the-clock basis.
In Dublin City, the highest score was won by Chapelizod with 276 points in its category. In Dublin South, the highest score was achieved by Lucan with 283 points in its category.
In Abbeyshrule, the national champions had all their litter bins removed because they believed domestic waste from outside the area was being dumped in their public bins. Interestingly, all litter disappeared after that move.
The village committee chairperson Philip Butler said: "When people see the clean streets they won't throw litter on them.
"Because of litter charges, people were using our bins and we were facilitating it.
"It was a hard thing to do to get rid of our litter bins, but when we did there was no more litter as people brought it home with them."
And now Abbeyshrule, also named Ireland's tidiest village, is going for the treble at the weekend when the results of the European Entente Florale competition are announced in the Netherlands.
Abbeyshrule and Clonmel are representing Ireland and hoping to pick up a prize for best village and town, respectively.
The competition judges said they were surprised to see that the litter bins had been removed from Abbeyshrule, which has a population of less than 200.
There was no sign of litter anywhere during their visit to Abbeyshrule and the judges added: "The splendid displays of landscaping consistent around the village cover all available ground, and long stretches of well-manicured, open-grassed spaces."
Despite being hit by devastating floods last June, Clonakilty in west Cork was named the tidiest small town.
Westport in Co Mayo was named Ireland's tidiest large town.
Ennis in Co Clare came first in the tidiest large urban centre category.