Abbeyshrule held on to its county crown at this year's Tidy Towns awards
There was further success for the Tidy towns team in Abbeyshrule this year, as they landed the Category A Gold Award, valued at €900, for their efforts.
This year, Abbeyshrule received a total of 342 marks, just four marks off eventual winners Glaslough. This represents an increase of 5 marks on 2018 results for the village which landed the national crown in 2012. Abbeylara was also named Longford county award winner, with a prize total of €1,000.
In the official report, Abbeyshrule was found to have improved in four different categories - Streetscape and Public places (+1), Sustainability (+2), tidiness & litter control (+1), residential streets and housing areas (+1).
In the maiden adjudicator report, the twelve ‘active and very productive committee’ were praised by judges for their great level of voluntary support and ability to draw on local skill sets. They were also lauded for their 50 year involvement in the awards, while the adjudicator was ‘very impressed’ with the standard of presentation of buildings and communal areas.
The report noted the excellent signage in the village, but warned that the planting near the Brendan Colum bog oak sculpture needs to be trimmed back as it is in danger of being hidden from view. It also stated that unauthorised parking around the Rustic Inn was a problem, especially for wheelchair users, with parked cars making paths ‘unusable’.
“Perhaps strategically placed planters around this area could be used to prevent unauthorised parking,” the report suggested.
The team were then exalted for recognising the importance of pollinators and wildlife with their plantings around the village, but in terms of green open spaces in the village, parked cars were again an issue.
“The village green area was well maintained but again parked cars here made it difficult to access. Could you consider providing hard standings to the base of one of the green picnic tables to allow firmer access for those with walking aids?”
In terms of sustainability, the team received significant brownie points for measures taken to address water conservation.
With regards to litter, the village was described by adjudicators as ‘very tidy and clutter free’. They were advised, however, to ensure that any overhanging vegetation alongside the core villages paths are kept cut back.
The committee were lauded for high standard of residential buildings in the area, while the report added that the town gardens were ‘lovely’ but in need of trimming to prevent impact to footpaths.
The team also received plaudits for their work related to approach roads, streets and lanes, but were advised to look into the provision of cycle parking facilities.
“A few bike stands in the seating area beside the Richmond Inn may encourage cyclists to stop and spend some time in your village.”
Judges also noted that it was ‘a pity’ that a dedicated pathway could not be provided or painted for pedestrians over the bridge.
In the second round adjudication, Abbeyshrule Tidy Towns were celebrated for their attention to detail, range of plantings, residential areas, gardens, sculptures and heritage information. They were advised to ensure that the paths or seats aren’t encroached by growth.
The team were praised for the exciting future plans, the overall tidiness of the village and the excellent first impression it gives to visitors. Street furniture was also praised for being of a ‘high standard’ as well as the artistic treatment of the replica Locke House, which was described as one of the best judges have seen.
“We congratulate you on 50 years participation in this worthwhile competition and on the significant awards you have achieved over time.
“Thank you Abbeyshrule Tidy Villages for a fine presentation and we wish you well with future projects.”