“Two years in the competition and already you are approaching full steam ahead” was the verdict of the Tidy Towns adjudicator who visited Goresbridge, which won the Endeavour Award in Co Kilkenny for improving its overall score by 10.61% over last year’s marks.
The village’s buildings are an asset, such as Ionad Dara with its “daring modern design” and a school that “is a tribute to the people with responsibility for its appearance”, but the adjudicator’s report also noted the struggle with dereliction.
“Your work is obvious on the ground in this matter. All along main street one has the sense of an affluent past. Beautiful buildings and lovely lettering as at Carrols. Another building has three arched doorways, all from another age. ... These buildings unfold the history of Goresbridge.”
On a positive note, the adjudicator proposed creating a heritage trail that “could be a window to many centuries of Goresbridge living”.
The report said there was “great potential” for landscaping, and it praised the information board on the fish of the Barrow. “The Nature Walk along by the river becomes the highlight of the visit for the adjudicator. This little village is blessed. And it is obvious that Goresbridge appreciates the river and the access to the river.”
Although the report noted the presence of litter, it found that “Goresbridge presents itself as a tidy and cared-for village. ... Graffiti is a nuisance but you work on it.”
For the future, it suggested setting out priorities: “Do you want to win this competition and by what year? Or do you want to live in pleasant surroundings? Or do you want to be a few marks ahead of a village you find hard to beat in hurling? All of these aspirations are motivators as you get your hands dirty on a wet May evening.”