The sense of community spirit was palpable at the Backstage Theatre on Wednesday, October 5, as families, neighbours and friends from all across the county gathered for the results of the 2016 Better Estates Awards.
Sheila Tipper, Housing Liaison Officer with Longford County Council, revealed that 2016 is the twelfth year of the initiative, and that once again, the standard of entries was extremely high.
“Sometimes the work that you do goes unthanked, but it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed,” Sheila said, later pointing out; “You have created good, sustainable communities, and somewhere you can be proud of to call your own.”
Dog Warden Hilary Robinson then took to the stage, promoting responsible dog ownership and showing how microchips work, before helping Sheila to present prizes for the initiative’s art competition. The winners were as follows:
Under 6: 1st - Latanna Stokes, Annaly Park, Longford; 2nd - Megan Fallon, Deerpark, Kenagh; 3rd - Tia O’Neill, Foxhall Crescent, Legan; Commended - Holly Donaldson, Foxhall Crescent, Legan; Amber Cheshire, Canal Bank, Longford; Emmie Cassidy, Curraghrua, Lanesboro.
6 - 12 years: 1st - Sarah Curran, Curraghrua, Lanesboro; 2nd - Courtney Hughes, Devine Crescent, Edgeworthstown; 3rd - Brian Hunt, Park Villas, Longford; Commended - Olivia Podgorna, Park Drive, Longford; Zoe McGrath Kane, Ardan Alainn, Longford; Amy Cheshire, Canal Bank, Longford; Bradley O’Leary, Canal Bank, Longford; Amber Hogan, Park Drive, Longford; Margaret Zaklilikowski, Canal Walk, Longford; Paula Ganley, Annaly Park Longford; Pearl Togher, Annaly Park, Longford.
After the winners were presented with their prizes, Community Enterprise Development Officer Frank Horne congratulated all the entrants, before offering some tips to keen gardeners, particularly on how to encourage the presence of bees by planting specific flowers.
Finally, before the competition winners were unveiled, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Cllr Mick Cahill, congratulated all who took part, adding; “I know the marvellous work that goes into the estates and it’s great to see people taking pride in their estates.
“Everybody here is a winner. Keep up the good work!”
They were sentiments which were later echoed by Chief Executive of the council, Paddy Mahon, who also thanked his council colleagues for their dedication.
The winners of the Better Estates Competitions were as follows:
Estates with input from CE Scheme: 1st - Church View, Lanesboro; 2nd - Devine Crescent, Edgeworthstown; 3rd - Springlawn, Longford.
Ballymahon Municipal Area, Large Green Area: 1st - Curraghrua, Lanesboro; 2nd - Foxhall Crescent, Legan; 3rd - Smithfield Crescent, Legan.
Ballymahon Municipal Area, Small Green Area: 1st - Deerpark, Kenagh; 2nd - Cartron Road, Kenagh; 3rd - Parkside Gardens, Ballymahon.
Ballymahon Municipal Area, Highly Commended: Marian Terrace, Ballymahon; Slí na Móna, Ballymahon.
Granard Municipal Area: 1st - River Crescent, Ballinalee; 2nd - Cuirt Shanmullagh, Ballinamuck; 3rd - Church View Drive, Drumlish; Highly Commended - Cois na hAbhainn, Ballinalee.
Longford Municipal Area, Large Estate: 1st - Annaly Park; 2nd - Teffia Park; 3rd - Canalach Le Cheile (Fonderman’s).
Longford Municipal Area, Small Estate: 1st - Wood View, Newtownforbes; 2nd - St Emer’s; 3rd - The Hollows.
Longford Municipal Area, Highly Commended: Corry Park, Newtownforbes; Castle Gardens, Newtownforbes; Ardan Alainn, Longford.
Most Improved Estate: Cnoc na Sí, Killashee.
Overall Winner: River Crescent, Ballinalee.
Garden Competition: 1st - Denise McNamara, Canal Bank, Longford; 2nd - Rosario Coady, The Hollows, Longford; 3rd - Eileen Burke, Lenamore, Legan.
Thrilled with their win, President of River Crescent Resident’s Association, Sarah Murtagh revealed that this was the area’s sixth overall win in their twelve years of entering the competition.
Admitting that she was shocked to see the title return to the area again, she smiled; “It’s nice to be recognised. This does make it worth our while.”