castletown have won the county Tidy Towns award for almost a quarter of a century and this year picked up a bronze award too.
For the last 24 years, Castletown have been crowned the tidiest town in Laois. Next year, they hope to make that 25.
Although the village didn’t improve on their score of 299, this year, committee member Jack Bergin said they were happy overall with what they had achieved.
“We may be small in number but the committee work hard,” he said.
“We had an idea that we wouldn’t improve our mark this year because our flowers didn’t produce what we had hoped they would with the inclement weather over the summer. But we were happy with the mark we received.
“Hopefully we’ll get the silver award back next year.”
Mr Bergin acknowledged the constructive criticism in the judges report.
“There are a few things we can improve on for next year, but we were aware of them anyway.”
A total of 24 towns and villages took part in the annual competition this year, an increase of two from last year.
It was celebrations all round as Portlaoise, Portarlington Ballacolla and Abbeyleix all celebrated success in the annual competition.
Following on from last year’s bronze, Portlaoise were silver medal award winners, a prize which is worth €700 to the Tidy Towns Committee.
While Portarlington took the Endeavour Award for county Laois for increasing their overall mark by over 7% from 214 points to 230 points.
“We were thrilled and delighted. It was more than we could have hoped for. There were no negatives mentioned, so it’s all positive going forward. We’d like to thank everyone who helped out,” said Anne Dunne, secretary of Port Tidy Towns committee.
Ballcolla were highly commended in the county with a score of 293 points and will receive €800 in prize money, while Abbeyleix were commended with a score of 292. Killarney scooped the over Tidy Towns prize.
Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan commended, what he described as trojan work of all the Laois Tidy Towns participants.
“The efforts of every volunteer in ensuring that their town or village maintains a high standard each year must be commended. The attitude shown by these volunteers is exactly what our country needs at this moment in time.”
Deputy Flanagan added: “I hope that the endeavours of all those who participate is seen as an inspiration to the other towns and villages around Laois who are considering entering the competition next year.”