Kilkenny has once again come up short in the annual Tidy Towns competition, in a crushing disappointment for the volunteers, groups and local authorities who put in a redoubled effort this year.
The results were announced in the last hour at a ceremony in Dublin, and the village of Moynalty in Meath was unveiled as the overall winner of the SuperValu-sponsored competition. It is the village’s first overall victory.
Kilkenny had expected to do well this year, with a lot of extra work being done on sections previously criticised, such as the submission report. And it improved its marks by four points over that of 2012, with extra points in the categories of overall development approach, landscaping, litter control, and roads and back areas.
The result is likely to be the subject of intense focus in the coming days, and at tonight’s meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council.
The city was unable to recover its former title of ‘Tidiest Large Urban Centre’, which it held in 2010 and 2011. That award again went to Ennis in Clare.
Moynalty also claimed the award of Ireland’s Tidiest Village. Other winners at the awards ceremony included Kenmare, Kerry which received the award for Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town; and Killarney, Kerry received the award of Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Moynalty after 53 years in the competition; a really worthy winner,” said Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
“My congratulations to Moynalty and all of the other prize-winners today. I am always impressed by the ambition and enthusiasm of all those involved in the TidyTowns effort. These people volunteer their time, effort and expertise, year on year, to help make their communities better places to live and work in.”
Kilkenny recently came second in the annual IBAL awards, but has not won the Tidy Towns top prize since 1985.