Gallery: All the hard work pays off
LOCALS in one Listowel community were 'over the moon' on Saturday night as their green-fingered work during the year saw both their estate and one of their own coming first in the Tidy Towns' annual local awards.
Listowel performed fantastically in the national competition once again this year, retaining its gold medal for the sixth-year in a row. But as the local awards - held in the Family Resource Centre on Wednesday night - displayed, it was in large part due to the stunning work put in by everyone.
And Baile O Dubhda estate also emerged as one of the highest performers - winning Best Medium Estate and Best Garden for local woman Denise Moran. Resident Maureen Lynch was also highly commended for her garden.
"I couldn't believe it!" Denise told The Kerryman following her win. "It was a fantastic night for all of us in the estate as we're a very tight-knit community who worked so closely together to get our estate looking good."
Among the projects they rolled out in Baile O Dubhda was a rockery and tree-planting initiative in the green area.
"Maureen, myself, Mike Enright, Mike Casey, Maureen's husband Mike and my partner Stephen were up to our elbows in compost all summer between rockeries, beds and hanging baskets. But we have found it a fantastic way to come together and I must say I love gardening now; having known very little about it up until five years' ago."
Of deepest significance to Denise and Stephen is the fact that many of the plants their garden represent deceased family members. "A number of the plants have come in from Cahersiveen where I'm from and from Ballylongford, where Stephen's people come from, to represent our loved ones who have gone on. So the win was extra special for us for that reason," Denise said.
John Griffin's Craft Butchers, meanwhile, was judged the Best Overall Premises in town (prize sponsored by the town council). The Best Commercial Premises was Con Dillon's on William Street (sponsored by JJ Galvin's) and the Best Public Building was the Seanchaí (sponsored by Seán Heaphy of Spar).
Kenny Heights won the Best Large Estate and its neighbour Cluain Doire won the Best Small Estate.
Mary Lynch, of Ballygologue Park was meanwhile commended in the best gardens category for her remarkable work.
Behan's Horseshoe Bar and Restaurant won the Best Commercial Hanging Baskets/Windowboxes, with Sharon Dalton of Ballygologue winning the Residential category of that competition.
And Listowel's youth were also represented on Wednesday for their fantastic art works on the theme of biodiversity.