Skerries was named best of the 859 towns and villages throughout the country that entered this year’s SuperValu National TidyTowns competition. The announcement was greeted by great celebration at the awards ceremony at The Helix in Dublin.
On hand to present the prizes was Mr. Michael Ring, T.D., Minister for Regional Development and Mr. Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor for the 25th year. The Helix was packed with representatives of TidyTowns groups, from all over the country, eagerly anticipating the announcement of the winners.
Birdhill Co. Tipperary claimed the award of Ireland’s Tidiest Village. Other winners included Listowel Co Kerry receiving the award for Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town for the second year, Skerries also received the award of Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town, while Ennis Co Clare was declared as Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.
Speaking after the awards ceremony Minister Ring said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Skerries; a really worthy winner. This is the 1st time Skerries has won the overall prize. Skerries have first entered the competition in 1959 and their win today is evidence of their consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local and regional level. This much sought after award is recognition of a town that embraces all aspects of the SuperValu TidyTowns Competition, builds strong community links and has grown each year in the competition. So my congratulations to Skerries and all of the other deserving prize-winners announced today. The enthusiasm of all those involved in the TidyTowns effort results in the attractive, well cared-for towns and villages we see throughout the country. How a community lives together, strives to involve all of its members and makes the most of their abilities and interests is integral to the ethos of TidyTowns. TidyTowns is one of the most recognisable environmental initiatives in Ireland, but TidyTowns is much bigger than that, it encompasses a way of life here in Ireland, where we live our lives showing respect for our neighbours and for nature. It is clear that working together and getting things done increases peoples’ pride in where they live and helps to build vibrant communities. This is why I am delighted to see this competition continues to sustain great interest, even after 58 years.”
The Minister also thanked SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor. He said: “SuperValu have been sponsoring this competition for 25 years now, and I want to thank them for their fantastic support over that time. SuperValu has been integral to sustaining and developing the competition, not only through their financial sponsorship but also through the support provided to local TidyTowns groups by their network of local retailers.”
Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said: “This is our 25th year as title sponsor of the SuperValu TidyTowns competition and we are incredibly proud of our long-standing involvement in this important initiative. TidyTowns celebrates the efforts of communities up and down the country and year after year we see the tremendous power of local as volunteers rally together to enhance their towns and villages. The competition continues to grow and the tireless dedication from young and old who give freely of their time for the betterment of their communities is truly inspiring.
“As Ireland’s leading community retailer, with locally-owned SuperValu stores in every county in the country, our retailers are embedded in their local communities. Through the SuperValu TidyTowns competition, our retailers bring the SuperValu ethos of building vibrant local communities to life on a daily basis – just one of many community initiatives which allows them to give back and support local.
“I am delighted to congratulate the 2016 SuperValu TidyTowns competition winners and to recognise the dedication of all TidyTowns committees nationwide who make a real difference in towns and villages across Ireland. In addition, this year we are pleased to once again recognise and reward the intergenerational and intercultural aspects of TidyTowns committees through the SuperValu Youth Award and the SuperValu Diversity Award. These accolades demonstrate the competition’s clear capacity to grow, attracting all age groups and embracing all cultures within our communities.”
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.
The TidyTowns competition is organised by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and sponsored by SuperValu. The TidyTowns competition has been sponsored by SuperValu since 1992.