Mayor Michael Doyle and Cathaoirleach David Fitzgerald with Frank Sullivan, the Chairman of the Entente Florale steering committee (centre)
Inistioge is a hive of activity with Entente Florale preparations well under way as the south Kilkenny village prepares for visiting European adjudicators this July.
Volunteers are lending a hand every Saturday with weeding, litter picking and painting being completed. The local school have accepted their Entente Florale challenge and have expanded their school garden and work every week to ensure their vegetable patch will be bursting with produce when the adjudicators stop by in July.
Helping hands are being offered wider afield and the Entente Florale steering committee is thankful of the surrounding Men Sheds who are assisting with a variety of woodwork projects.
Behind the scenes, Kilkenny County Council is working in partnership in the Entente Florale steering committee to address items which are beyond the scope of the community volunteers. New heritage village street lighting with improved energy efficiency will soon be installed, come June an array of new hanging baskets will pop some colour along the village square and repair works at riverpark will improve this riverside amenity.
In the last few months plans have been drawn up by a variety of experts to assist with village to increase their competition potential. An ecologist was impressed with the existing diversity of perennial planting and provided a list of additional plants which would enhance the village in the long term with regards to biodiversity. This action links in brilliantly with the villages Pollinator Plan that aims to bring more natural flower rich pockets into the village to support bees and insects.
The school has drawn up a Biodiversity Action Plan and pupils are learning the importance of a diverse landscape to enable them to appreciate all the actions which are being undertaken in the village and the small measures the school can do to increase the biodiversity value in their own school grounds.
Recently Cathaoirleach Cllr Fitzgerald and Mayor Cllr Doyle were in Inistioge and like all the other elected members of the municipal district, they are behind Inistioge’s drive for gold. Mayor Doyle paid tribute to the volunteers who have come out in numbers to support the village and he already answered the volunteer call by rolling up his sleeves to assist with litter picking.
Cllr Fitzgerald was impressed with all the enhancement measures to date. He is fully appreciative of what it takes to prepare for a major competition as he was previously involved with Keep Kilkenny Beautiful when Kilkenny City was striving to achieve the national tidy towns title.
"Regardless of the end result of the competition, the local community should be proud of their spirit and of the village enhancements which will have a long lasting impact after the adjudication day," he said.
Should you like to lend a hand, new volunteers are always welcome, contact Frank Sullivan, the Chairman of the Entente Florale Steering Committee on 086-8810543 for further details.