Kilkenny City has managed to increase its overall Tidy Towns mark by a full four points, but has still fallen short of the overall crown in this year's competition.
The results of the 2016 competition were announced shortly before lunchtime today (Monday).
Kilkenny City (325 points) was just two points off overall winners Skerries (327), with Ennis , Clare also coming in ahead of Kilkenny on 326 points. Improvements were seen in four different categories: 'Tidiness and Litter Control', 'Community Involvement and Planning', 'Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities', and 'Sustainable Waste and Resource Management'.
In their report, adjudicators noted that 'Kilkenny City is always a delightful place and this visit was no different'.
The city's many iconic buildings and clean streets came in for significant praise, while the River Nore — both its natural habitats and built infrastructure — were also lauded. Our new hurling statue (pictured) was also singled out for acclaim.
Remarkably, all Kilkenny towns and villages saw an increase in marks - with Goresbridge and Windgap recording the biggest - both scoring 14 points more than last year.
Interest in the SuperValu TidyTowns competition has been consistently high in recent times with the number of entries exceeding 800 each year for the last five years.
Results from Kilkenny:
Ballyraggett 270 (+3)
Callan 257 (+10)
Castlecomer 302 (+3)
Clogh 276 (+7)
Dungarvan 274 (+7)
Fiddown 258 (+3)
Gathabawn 285 (+7)
Glenmore 229 (Returning after 13 years)
Goresbridge 264 (+14)
Gowran 302 (+5)
Inistioge 318 (+4)
Kells 298 (+9)
Mooneenroe 276 (+5)
Stoneyford 257 (+10)
Thomastown 281 (+10)
Tullahought 317 (+5)
Windgap 252 (+14)
The TidyTowns competition is organised by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and sponsored by SuperValu.