Kenmare honour 'hugely rewarding'
KENMARE has been named as Ireland's tidiest small town at the national award ceremony in the Helix in Dublin on Monday, having last won the award in 2008 and scooping the overall winner in 2000, while also receiving Gold Medals every year since.
Killarney took the honour of Ireland's tidiest large town and John Crowley, of Kenmare's Tidy Town committee, was "over the moon" when speaking to The Kerryman, "considering there were 800 entries from all over the country, it's great for Kerry when you have these two awards going to towns only 20 miles apart."
"We genuinely didn't think we were in with a chance of winning this and it came as a huge surprise," he added.
The hard work the committee and all the volunteers have been putting in finally paid off on Monday, with celebrations continuing into the night in Kenmare.
The preparations by the group saw them go out every Tuesday night, as well as putting in hours of their own free time to what Maureen Finnegan, a member of the Kenmare Tidy Towns committee, described as "hugely rewarding."
"It's surprising what can be done in an hour and, when someone has one free, they go out themselves and get some of the work done," said Maureen.
"We've been preparing for this for nearly a quarter of a century and we are simply over the moon," she said, before adding: "What's good for Killarney is good for us and what is good for us is good for Killarney," said Maureen.
The award follows the announcement at the Tidy Towns ceremony in Dublin on Monday that Kenmare is one of 10 towns that have been included Fáilte Ireland's shortlist for overall 'Tourism Town' 2013.
Tralee is also included on the list, whose winner will be announced in Novenmber.