Kilteely Tidy Towns Associ-ation has been crowned overall winner of the 2012 Limerick In Bloom compe-tition. 42 other community groups throughout County Limerick were also honoured for their participation in the annual competition, now in its fifth year, at an awards ceremony in Limerick County Hall last night. Along with being named overall winner, Kilteely Tidy Towns Association picked up first prize in its category while Adare Tidy Towns, Kilteely/Dromkeen Housing Association and Broadford Development Association were named winners of their respective categories. 

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

Adjudication took place during July and considered such factors as colour, size, variety, location and approp-riateness of the various planting schemes along with the management of litter. The judging panel this year included Mr. Eamonn De Stafort, who is a member of the International Entente Florale Jury. 

Addressing the large gathering at County Hall in Dooradoyle, Cllr. Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoir-leach of Limerick County Council said: “As an elected member, I am aware of the huge contribution made by community groups, residents’ associations, Tidy Towns committees and individuals across Limerick to enhancing the visual appearance of their local communities. It is only right and proper therefore that Limerick County Council, as the local authority, plays its part by supporting and officially recognising this contri-bution.”

“Since the competition’s inception in 2008, members of the local community have been encouraged to show their pride in their respective towns and villages. As in previous years, participants have this year improved County Limerick’s appea-rance through attractive floral displays and in doing so have helped to lift spirits during these difficult economic times,” the Cathaoirleach added.

Gerard Boland, Director, JP McManus Foundation, commented: “In playing a supporting role in the Limerick in Bloom initiative, the Foundation is recognising the vital importance of supporting communities. It is our way of thanking community groups and individuals for the valuable work they carry out. Their work not only has a positive impact on their localities, but has a real benefit in terms of the economy and particularly in terms of tourism in Limerick. The Foundation, which is the brainchild of a very proud Limerick man in JP McManus, is committed to supporting community and charitable causes.”

Josephine Cotter Coughlan, Director of Services, Community and Enterprise, said the Council was delighted that every corner of County Limerick has been represented in this year’s competition. “I wish to pay tribute to the 43 entrants, without their participation and contribution to the appearance of their respective communities, there would be no com-petition,” she said. Competition categories are based on population size with a first, second and third prize in each category of €1000, €500 €300 respectively. Category 4 caters for housing estates and community areas, Category 3 is for towns and villages with a population in excess of 700, Category 2 represents towns and villages with a population of 301-700, and Category 1 features com-munity groups in towns and villages with a population of under 300. 

Category 4 was won this year by Kilteely/Dromkeen Housing Association with Glin Homes for the Elderly and Cappamore Estates Management being named in second and third place respectively.  Adare Tidy Towns claimed the overall prize in Category 3.  Patrickswell Tidy Towns finished second and Castleconnell Tidy Towns and Kilmallock Tidy Towns shared third position. Meanwhile, Broadford Development Association was named overall winner of Category 2 with Athea Tidy Towns Committee and Oola Tidy Towns being named in second and third place respectively.   Category 1 was won by Kilteely Tidy Towns who finished in first place ahead of Croagh Community Council and Croagh Village Renewal Group in second and Knockainey Tidy Towns in third. Each participant received a framed certificate and the prizewinners received a framed certificate and a voucher.  The overall winner received a voucher, framed certificate and the Limerick in Bloom Trophy.