For the second year running, the West Limerick village of Athea has been named overall winner of the Limerick in Bloom competition. Forty-four other community groups throughout County Limerick were honoured for their participation in the annual competition, now in its seventh year, at an awards ceremony held last Thursday at the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare.

Limerick City and County Council, in conjunction with sponsor, the JP McManus Foundation, once again hosted this year’s competition which serves as a motivational mechanism for small locally-based groups throughout the County to enhance the visual impact of their settlements by means of flower, tree and shrub planting.

Along with being named overall winner, Athea Tidy Towns Committee picked up first prize in its category while St. Ita’s Voluntary Housing Association in Abbeyfeale, Ardpatrick Tidy Towns, Hospital Tidy Towns and Slugaire Residents Association in Dooradoyle were named winners of their respective categories. 

Cllr. Kevin Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council congratulated the Limerick In Bloom participants for making the competition “a real celebration of com-munity spirit, teamwork and awareness of the natural environment.”

Meanwhile, Limerick In Bloom participants who entered the 2014 National Tidy Towns Competition were also officially recognised at the awards ceremony. Prizes were awarded to the best performing towns and villages in the 2014 Tidy Towns Competition. Four awards of €1,000 were presented to groups in the following categories: Highest Overall Score (Adare); Tidiness and Litter Control (Feenagh); Sustainable Waste and Resource Management (Kilmallock); Landscaping (Ardpatrick). Meanwhile two awards of €500 were presented as follows: Wildlife and Natural Amenities (Broadford); Community Involvement and Planning (Galbally). See full story on page 28.