Co Longford is back on the Tidy Towns map

Abbeyshrule’s historic success in this year’s Tidy Towns awards caps the end to what has been yet another fine 12 months for the county on the national environmental stage.

Abbeyshrule’s historic success in this year’s Tidy Towns awards caps the end to what has been yet another fine 12 months for the county on the national environmental stage.

Awarded the honour of being Ireland’s cleanest village, the south Longford locality also fought off competition from over 850 other entrants to emerge with the competition’s highest accolade-Ireland’s tidiest town.

Quite a transformation given its 2011 showing when finishing three points adrift of overall winners, Killarney. The judges, however, rewarded Abbeyshrule and its 26-strong committee for its dedication and committment to the environment and sustainable living.

Up went its scores in each of the built environment, litter control, tidiness and waste minimisation as it secured a final tally of 312 points, edging out Westport and Ennis, in Co Clare for the top spot.

The judging panel appeared suitably taken. For a community of less than 200 people, adjudicators paid testimony to the meticulous effort put in by all concerned.

“You are very active all year round and recognise the huge level of action required in each category to compete at such a high level in the competition, the judging panel noted. “You are very organised and competent at communicating with the local community and you do so by a large variety of mediums.”

In what could be a red-letter couple of days for the village as it gears up for this Friday’s 2012 Entente Florale results, a string of other towns and villages across the county are also celebrating this week.

A few miles down the road, and in nearby Newtowncashel, Tidy Towns commitee organisers secured a silver medal in the tidiest villages category (305 points) with Ardagh taking third place on 289 marks.

Drumlish (274), meanwhile, came out on top in the Category B section, closely followed by Clondra (271) with Edgeworthstown (224) and Longford emerging victorious in the tidiest small town and large town sections respectively.