'Bringing home the gold is always good' Abbeyleix celebrates Tidy Towns win

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

'Bringing home the gold is always good' Abbeyleix celebrates Tidy Towns win

Abbeyleix Tidy Towns photo 2016

The beautiful Laois town of Abbeyleix has secured another gold medal in the Tidy Towns competition this year.

The voluntary committee of ten people in Abbeyleix Tidy Towns worked tirelessly all year round to retain their gold medal.

Secretary of Abbeyleix Tidy Towns, Mary White, has said that it is a full time job and that the team is absolutely thrilled.

“We got gold, we are thrilled, we won the county award as well. Everybody thinks Tidy Towns is just one day but Tidy Towns is 365 days of the year. We improved our marks by three, it is very hard to improve your points when you get over three hundred,” Mary said.

The county award means they were the cleanest town in Laois and comes with a prize fund of €1,000 as well as a €900 prize for winning gold.

“We have 10 volunteers while other areas have up to 50 and 100. We had a great increase this year with the Entente Florale Europe competition and we appreciate it because we know that young people are busy and they are tired when they come home from work in the evenings,” Mary explained.

Mary said that the committee will not be having any huge celebrations to mark the occasion as they like to put the money straight back into projects for next year.

“We will be keeping our hard earned money to improve the town,” Mary said.

The biggest project for next year is a sustainable energy audit, based on the ESB Halo Scheme, for the town to see what savings can be made on energy.

Some of the projects undertaken by the group in Abbeyleix include waste management, water conservation, composting, pollution reduction, general cleanliness and many more.

“Bringing home the gold is always good,” she added.

Other areas in Laois have also shone in the Tidy Towns competition.

Ballacolla and Castletown both took home bronze medals for 2017 and Portlaoise Tidy Towns was awarded a silver medal this year.

Cullohill won the Endeavor Award for the huge improvements they have made in their area.

The title of Ireland's Tidiest Village went to Birdhill in Co. Tipperary, Ireland's Tidiest Small Town is Clonakilty, Co. Cork while the prize of Ireland's Tidiest Large Town went to Westport, Co. Mayo.