Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Tidy Town improvements all round in Westmeath

By Michelle CrawleY

RESULTS of this year’s Tidy Towns competition have improved across Westmeath, with particularly strong marks awarded to Ballinahown, Tyrrellspass, Glasson, Athlone and Multyfarnham, for their tidy appearance, beautiful landscaping, impressive street furniture, and attractive streetscapes.
The overall improvement throughout the county shows the dedication and commitment of Tidy Towns committees, business and communities to improving the appearance of their towns and villages. Speaking at the announcement of this year’s Tidy Town winner, Environment Minister, Alan Kelly, commended villages, towns and cities across the country for the outstanding demonstration of community spirit that has been shown and the relentless commitment of tidy town committee members and volunteers to working for the good of their local community.
SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT
Whilst Westmeath did not have any major wins this year on a national level, it did see a major improvement in the rankings. Of note for making a significant improvement this year were Kilbeggan and Athlone, both of which raised their overall mark substantially. Kilbeggan raised its grade from 232 last year to 252 this year, whilst Athlone jumped from 258 last year to 275 this year, coming in top four entrants from Westmeath this year.
MULLINGAR KEEPS CLIMIBING
Despite the fact it didn’t fare as well as Athlone, Mullingar also saw a big improvement for a second year in a row, which is indicative of the hard work happening on the ground by the committee and the public. Once again, Mullingar topped its 2013 score of 255, coming in this year with a respectable 263. Mullingar’s Tidy Town committee doubled in size last year, as well as the group gaining a community employment worker, and it seems that these additions, as well as the many investments and efforts being made by the town to improve the appearance of the town are paying off.
Speaking to Topic this week, Brian Reidy, Chairman of Mullingar Tidy Towns, expressed his happiness with the result. “We are very happy with that. We are happy that we are continuing to improve and delighted to receive a comprehensive report back from the adjudicators, highlighting areas to improve as well as making note of what impressed them”
“We have to thank the business people of the town, the chamber of commerce, the street organisations and associations, and Westmeath County Council for all their assistance throughout the year. We received tremendous assistance from them and it is great that we are all singing off the same hymn sheet,” he said enthusiastically.
PRAISE
The report noted that Mullingar is blessed with two wonderful amenities, the Royal Canal and the River Brosna, and was happy with the noted improvement of the canal way since last year. It did point out that litter in the canal itself manifested at St. Loman’s Terrace and Brian Reidy of Mullingar Tidy Towns Committee readily agreed that work to clean-up the canal is ongoing.
The town was also praised for its pleasant shop fronts and Tom Birmingham’s, The Old Stand, Walsh Jewellers, Ulster Bank, The Church Restaurant,and Kerrigan’s were all given a special mention for excellent presentation. The County Council offices and the Tranquility Garden were also greatly admired by the adjudicator on the day, as were the Market House and the Garda Station.
Mary Street was given acknowledgment for being ‘a neon light free zone’ – a first in the experience of the adjudicator.

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