Newcastlewest Tidy Towns

Adjudication Report

Centre: Newcastle West Ref: 465

County: Limerick Mark: 287

Category: E Dates: 2/06/2013

Maximum Mark Mark

Mark Awarded Awarded

2012 2013

Overall Development Approach 50 39 40

The Built Enviornment 50 40 40

Landscaping 50 44 44

Wildlife and Natural Amenities 50 32 31

Litter Control 50 25 26

Sustainable Waste and Resource Management 20 9 10

Tidiness 30 17 17

Residential Areas 40 32 32

Roads, Streets and Back Areas 50 39 40

General Impression 10 7 7

Total Mark 400 284 287

Overall Development


Newcastlewest is welcome to the 2013 Tidy Towns competition. Thank you for your well written application. The enclosed town map was most useful in finding our way around to your various projects. That is the reason for the map. Four maps are somewhat confusing and impractical during the visit. A logical route to see all your current projects is what we need. Your large committee of 20 has been active. Thank you for being so clear about your most recent work as marks are awarded for year on year improvements. You have strong links with Limerick Co Co, West Limerick Resources and An Taisce. On a local level you are engaging with businesses, schools and clubs. Do you have FAS or Tus scheme? Well done for embracing social media. You also use the more conventional channels to promote your messages. Thank you for submitting your new Tidy Towns Plan (2013 – 2015). This is clearly laid out using category headings with actions broken down by year.

The Built Enviornment

The new entrance to Desmond Banqueting Hall complex really opens up this wonderful site. The planning notice for the Teenage Play area was noted. This would be a great addition to Newcastlewest’s amenities. The mapping of St. David’s Graveyard is a worthwhile initiative. You have a lovely streetscape with some impressive buildings such as Ella Maria’s Other buildings that caught the eye included Bob Burke’s, the Red Door, Kimono, Ed Lynch’s bar and NCBI. Bridge St is seriously affected by dereliction but has some lovely shop fronts all the same, e.g. the traditional shop front of Sheey’s/Barry’s and the Bridge House Bar (closed I think but looking well). The proliferation of signage detracts from the otherwise attractive Liston’s Auctioneer’s building. The streetscape and tree planting at Ulster Bank is impressive. Desmond College is neatly presented and the colourful Gaelscoil Doghair was admired. The completion of the Parish Hall refurbishment is noted. Dereliction is an issue on your main streets. Please show how you are engaging with owners/Limerick County council regarding presentation of these buildings.


The town square is simply landscaped with clean lines of tree planting and heritage lighting. It is one of the highlights of the town and a good place from which to admire attractive built environment. We didn’t see any information on the lovely sculpture. You have done a lovely job to enhance riverside. Planting is restrained in order to let the amenity express itself. We were delighted to spot a heron here! Hanging baskets add a splash of colour in key areas. The beautiful planting at the grotto is a credit to those who tend to it so carefully. Plans to landscape the N21/R522 roundabout will enhance this area.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities

The Demesne Park is a wonderful amenity for local and visitors alike to enjoy. We hope you secure the funding to implement your colour coded walks. We are delighted to hear that funding has been received by the Great Southern Trail committee to make further improvements on this special walk/cycleway. One hopes that this trail will be promoted and enjoyed by more people shortly. Please include your wildflower meadow under this heading. The main thrust of this category is to identify what wildlife is in the community, and then determine how to protect it and raise awareness of it. How are you doing this or planning to do this? You mention that Scoil Iosaef Girls N.S. is working towards its ‘biodiversity’ green flag. For the purpose of this category, working in conjunction with the local school would be of enormous benefit as you have mutual aims.

Have any local surveys or initiatives been carried out by the school? We received two copies of your ‘West Limerick Tidy Towns Network Report 2012/2013. We are disappointed that you have not referred to any of the training, surveys, Newcastle West school visit or lessons learned in your entry form as there is a huge emphasis on assisting you in this category. Your plan is a little vague in relation to this category. Are you going to make more specific plans based on learnings? Do you have a habitat map for Newcastle West as a result of it? Tell us about any surveys. Do you any wildlife enthusiast in Newcastlewest who could help you progress in this category? Even with the map, I couldn’t clearly identify the wildlife garden. As these areas are often ‘wild’ by nature, you should put a simple sign to raise awareness of what it is and the benefit it provides for birds, bees etc. Your efforts to raise awareness of the impact of excessive weedkiller usage are commended.

Litter Control

Your year round clean ups are commended. Has the litter situation improved in recent years? Litter control was quite good apart from a few incidents. Station Rd was littered in several places. The pedestrian ramp at the SuperValu car park was littered and pallets lying at the end of the ramp gave an untidy impression (as well as health & safety hazard). Well done for segregating materials for recycling. Awareness is an important element of this category. Continue to show evidence of how you promote your anti-litter messages. Have you run any awareness campaign on cigarette butt litter or dog fouling? Does the Tidy Towns group or volunteers monitor the bottle banks to ensure they are kept litter free? Well done for engaging with residents associations.

Sustainable Waste And Resource Management

We are delighted that you have digested some of the ideas from the revised category guidelines. You are

fortunate to receive some relevant assistance as part of your WLR training course. Community gardening is another effective way of reducing waste, packaging, food miles etc. Does Newcastle West have a site in mind to set up a project? Are there any GIY groups in Newcastle West at present? Well done to the schools for running book and uniform reuse schemes. Linking in with your Green Schools can also be of great benefit for this category. E.g. check if any school is running a walk//cycle to school promotions as part of their ‘travel’ green flag? This cuts down on your carbon footprint and your traffic! Well done for aiming to reduce litter at your festivals (relevant to litter category). You could extend this by trying to extend the ‘reduce reuse recycle’ message at these events. Visit for further information.


Lighting fixutres at the footbridge require repair. Faded signage and bins near the entrance create an untidy impression at Bank of Ireland, however we were delighted to see that the frayed flags had been removed. The Cobble lock at Bridwell Row looks grubby – not with litter but maybe chewing gum stains? Low hanging wires at Market Square look untidy and hazardous.

Residential Areas

Residential areas generally consisted of neatly presented properties with minor littering in a few areas. No estate that we visited has gone the extra mile in terms of present-ation, landscaping, tree planting etc. Your efforts to engage with estates and make them more responsible for their own areas are commended. It is well worth providing assistance and encourage-ment to estates to set up residents committee. Try to get as many as possible represented on your committee or at least in the communications loop. Holly Tree Cottage was admired as was the colourful Connolly St terrace of neatly presented homes. Weed control needs attention at Cois Teampaill; however good tree planting was noted here. Templegreen, Oak Park and Daar Wood were well presented.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas

The Boardwalk idea is a great idea and would maximise the potential of the attractive riverside areas more. The path was ‘blocked’ by parked cars on the day of our visit. We wish you luck with your plans. The N21 approaches are well maintained, the others less defined. This adjudicator feels that you could trim your grass verges as far as the 100kph sign on the Abbeyfeale Rd. Recent traffic calming measures have improved the appearance of this approach. On the N21, boundaries are well defined with attractive planting and attractive ‘Go n’eiri an bother leat’ signs. The attractive street name plates with crest were admired. Another pedestrian crossing at the square would be helpful. This adjudicator feels that ‘GST’ is not sufficient in terms of directional signage to the trail. An outsider wouldn’t know that meant a walk/cycleway. The GST entrance at Bishop’s Court could be made more inviting. Unfortunately there was an upturned wheelie bin there to greet us. You could harness the charm and character of your laneways more.

General Impression

Newcastlewest is a vibrant riverside town that has seen many changes in recent years. Tackling dereliction and litter are two key challenges but you are on the right track. It might be worth seeking residents of your com-munity interested in helping with specific tasks such as wildlife or waste prevention. Not everybody is able to attend meetings/do litter picks. Try and find out what skills and resources are in your com-munity. You may be pleasantly surprised! Thank you for a fine presentation and we wish you well with future projects.