Railway station cost Longford first place

The untidy interior and car park surrounding Longford bus and rail station were the areas that saw Longford slip to third place in the IBAL figures, and cost the town a coveted first place.

The untidy interior and car park surrounding Longford bus and rail station were the areas that saw Longford slip to third place in the IBAL figures, and cost the town a coveted first place.

However, tributes were also paid to the work of Longford Tidy Towns, led by Andy O'Dowd.

Dan Rooney, who circulated the details of the report, told councillors, "Unfortunately we were let down by two locations. We got eight As (grades) out of ten, and two Bs in respect of two sites, so we came third overall."

The two Grade Bs were awarded to Longford Railway and Bus Station. In relation to the interior of the railway station, the IBAL report said: "There has been a slight drop in the appearance of the interior of the railway station with a small, but noticeable, litter presence."

In its comments about the bus station, which is still Iarnrod Eireann property, the report said, "The was a noticeable improvement at the bus station and it appears that the installation of cigarette butt units have addressed the butt situation. Loose litter in the car park took away from an otherwise good site - sturdy bins, good visitor information notice, clear 'pay and display' signage and clear markings in the car park".

Cllr Peggy Nolan remarked, "It's an issue that has been ongoing because we have constantly been in touch with Iarnrod Eireann with regard supporting us in our endeavours to clean up that part of town and for extra lighting.

"Every time we approach them we've been told it's private property. Well it's private property that's bringing down our standing in both tidy towns and litter league."

She asked the council to issue a letter to Iarnrod Eireann to ask them to work with the Town Council to better its appearance with regard to litter control.

Cllr Michael Connellan said it was important to have the station clean as it was the first impression that many people get of Longford. He paid tribute to the work of Andy O'Dowd and his team of workers who keep the town clean.

Town Mayor Cllr Christy Warnock said after last year's second place, he thought Longford was in with a chance of coming first.

However, in relation to Iarnrod Eireann, he felt there would be progress in the coming year. "Andy O'Dowd told me that he was getting no support from the station master. The station master is now replaced and there's a Longford man in place who would be more amenable to helping out with Tidy Towns, there's no doubt about that," said Cllr Warnock.