The south Longford village of Abbeyshrule is to represent Ireland in a major environmental competition for towns and villages across Europe, it has been revealed.
Details of the multi Tidy Towns award winning village’s inclusion in the 2012 Entente Florale Competition was disclosed at a recent meeting of Longford County Council.
Director of Services, Frank Sheridan said the Department of Environment had chosen the Co Longford village from a long list of potential entrants.
Fronted by not for profit organisation the European Association for Flowers and Landscape, the competition currently has 12 member countries on its books.
Cllr Mick Cahill was the first to give his thumbs up to the announcement, saying the government’s decision was testimony to Abbeyshrule’s hard-working Tidy Towns Committee.
“It’s a great honour for Abbeyshrule and reflects all the hard work that has gone on there,” said the Colehill Fianna Fail councillor.
“The village is being improved all the time and it really is a vote of confidence in Abbeyshrule.”
Another south Longford representative, Cllr Larry Bannon was equally wholesome in his praise of Abbeyshrule’s revered reputation for environmental awareness.
Making reference to the success of Carrick-on-Shannon’s participation in 2010, Cllr Peggy Nolan said the benefits of having a Co Longford representative in the competition were huge.
“If it does half as much for Abbeyshrule and the county of Longford as it done last year for Carrick-on-Shannon we are certainly onto a winner,” she said emphatically.
“There were spectacular displays there and the amount of visitors and the boost to tourism it gave was just fantastic.”
Cllr Paul Connell gave a similarly upbeat appraisal, pointing to the success which was also enjoyed by Ardagh in recent years.
The final itself, when the overall winners are announced, is expected to take place later this year.