Improvements all round for a tidy county

There was an improvement in overall marks for almost every Kilkenny entrant to this year’s Tidy Towns competition, with no town or village receiving a lower score than last year.

There was an improvement in overall marks for almost every Kilkenny entrant to this year’s Tidy Towns competition, with no town or village receiving a lower score than last year.

Still out in front this year was Kilkenny City, with a score of 309 – a one point improvement on 2011.

And once again, it was the picturesesque village of Inistioge that ran the city closest. Inistioge came second in the county, finally breaking the 300-point threshold, and securing two extra points up on last year through the litter control and landscaping categories. It was the southern town’s 48th year taking part in the competition.

“Clearly your committee doesn’t need any advice from this adjudicator on frequency of meetings, etc,” says the judges report.

“You acknowledge that you ‘have great success with extra volunteers always ready to show up and help’. That is testimony to a great community spirit in Inistioge.”

Third place in the county went to Tullaghout, which improved on last year’s score by four to 298. It received two extra marks in the ‘wildlife’ category alone.

“You are getting great support from all the agencies and bodies,” writes the Tidy Towns adjudicator.

“The parishioners are well informed of your activities. We are pleased to find that the competition has generated such interest in the locality which has resulted in its transformation over the years.”

Next was Gowran, with a score of 287. This was a two mark improvement on 2011, with points gained in ‘waste minimisation’ and ‘wildlife’ categories.

Castlecomer was next, moving its score up one point to 285. Judges felt that ‘Comer merited an extra point in the category of ‘residential areas’.

Kells was up four points on the previous year to 274, while Gathabawn was next with 269 – a two point improvement on 2011. Number eight in the county was Moneenroe with 265 points, showing improvements in the ‘built environment’, ‘landscaping’, and ‘residential areas’ categories.

Dungarvan received a score of 263, a substantial six-point ascension on last year. Johnstown was not far behind with 262, up five points. Graignamanagh came just outside the top ten entrants in Kilkenny with a score of 255, while Clogh in the north received marks of 253.

Urlingford showed a five-point amelioration with its score of 253. It made minor improvements in categories of ‘litter control’ and ‘landscaping’, and gained three extra marks in the ‘wildlife’ category.

“The allotments are a very good addition to Urlingford and are a first for this adjudicator,” notes the judge’s report.

“It is an inspired use of your winnings in the SuperValu ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ competition. Urlingford is blessed with its location in lush, leafy countryside which has an abundance of wildlife.”

Thomastown received a score of 252, showing the greatest point-by-point improvement in Kilkenny. Since last year, it has improved by one point in the categories of ‘waste minimisation’, ‘litter control’ and ‘built environment’, and by two points in the ‘landscaping’ and ‘wildlife’ categories.

Ballyragget was up three points (to 249), as was Fiddtown (to 247). Mullinavat retained its 2011 score of 241 (241), gaining a point in ‘residential areas’, but losing one for ‘litter control’.

Owning near Piltown scored 241 points. It did not enter in 2011 but retains the same score from 2010. Bennettsbridge made a return to the Tidy Towns competition this year, for the first time in 13 years. It scored 240 overall – the same score it had registered in its most recent entry in 1999.

Callan made a six-point improvement with its score of 228, and Goresbridge managed to improve its lot by three points since last year, to 222.