L-R Noreen Gammell, Vickki Jackson, John Kennedy, Dermot Kelly, Tracey Smith, Amanda Slattery BRUREE ROCKHILL TT

L-R Noreen Gammell, Vickki Jackson, John Kennedy, Dermot Kelly, Tracey Smith, Amanda Slattery BRUREE ROCKHILL TT

As villages all over Ballyhoura Country are preened to perfection for the arrival of another Tidy Towns’ season, Tidy Towns’ representatives from across Ballyhoura Country gathered to celebrate the achievements of the past year at the 24th Annual Ballyhoura Country Tidy Towns’ awards on last Thursday night.

This year the event was held in the Community Centre in Hospital. The town of Hospital is celebrating 800 years since the foundation of the town, a perfect place to host the 2015 Awards

The evening began with an official welcome by newly appointed Chairperson of Ballyhoura Heritage and Environment John Kennedy who gave a warm welcome to all attendees. A moment was given to remember the chairman of Charleville Tidy Towns, Tommy Kavanagh who passed away in June and the former stalwart of the organisation was given a generous round of applause.

Pauline McDonagh of the Southern Waste Region gave a wonderful presentation on the Sustainable Waste and Resource management category of the Tidy Towns competition as this is a difficult category for many involved. John Kennedy co presented the awards with Amanda Slattery of Ballyhoura Development based on an improvement in marks from 2013 to 2014. The awards cover all 10 categories from the National competition with an amalgamation of categories for the purpose of the Ballyhoura Country Awards. Again adjudication reports from 2014 showed much improvement across all communities taking part in the national competition from the Ballyhoura region. Tourism and Heritage Officer, Amanda Slattery recognised the improvement in marks of a great number of communities this year, reflecting the amount of hard work and dedication of all of the Tidy Towns’ committees and communities across the region.

In 2006, 16 groups were involved in the Tidy Towns competition from the region and 2015 has again seen a rise with 40 entrants in the national competition from the area. The Ballyhoura Development ‘Helping Hands’ project presented a wonderful display of eco projects from the craft workshop in Kilmallock and as a token of thanks to Hospital Tidy Towns group for hosting the event, two insect hotels from the Helping Hands project were gifted to the community.

Ballyhoura Development would like to recognise the support and help of Hospital Tidy Towns, Monica, Liam and David of Helping Hands Ballyhoura Development, the Southern Waste Region and all who participated. After an abundance of refreshments, Michael O Sullivan gave an overview of the history of Kilmallock on behalf of the “Hospital 800” and the Hospital Tidy Towns led all groups on an informative walk taking in the new estate name plates, the bedding areas, water harvesting system, and the wonderful work taking place on the old Creamery building.

The night was a wonderful evening celebrating everyone’s input to Tidy Towns in Ballyhoura Country. Ballyhoura Development Ltd and the Tourism and Heritage Officer Amanda congratulate all the winners from the evening and wished all groups every success in the National Tidy Towns Competition in 2015.

The winning committees are as follows:


Overall Development

Elton Tidy Towns

Galbally Tidy Towns

Built Environment, Landscaping and Wildlife

Rockhill Bruree Tidy Towns

Milford Tidy Towns

Litter Control, Waste, Tidiness and Housing Areas

Kilfinane Tidy Towns

Kilmallock Tidy Towns