The hardworking Ballylinan committee were awarded with an extra ten marks, bringing their score up to 241.
Judges praised their links with the school, the council and FAS, encouraging them to also contact local clubs.
Interesting features of note were the old church and Garda barracks, which was said to be in poor condition.
The old cottage in the village centre was complimented, and the pump with seating, bollards and flowers nearby was described as “first class and a lovely focal point”.
Buildings of a high standard were the National School, St Annes Community Hall and the thatched cottage. Nolan’s and Flemings had lovely traditional shopfronts, while Murphy’s, the Village Inn and Centra were praised.
The report recommended a plan of action to tackle derelict sites, but for now a coat of paint, boarding, weeding and planting were needed.
The many attractive landscaping projects impressed, particularly at the Carlow, Athy and Rahim road junctions, and the graveyard road. Colourful planters were admired on the Rahim Road.
The planted area opposite the filling station is a very positive contribution. The parks surrounding Wynn’s Park and the old School Park were admired, as was an open green opposite St Anne’s FC.
Judges cautioned against undertaking too many projects requiring high maintenance, while admiring the new flowerbed and trees planted at Wynns Park.
They praised the introduction of wildlife areas, and a planned wildlife survey.
Litter control was reported as generally good, with the “vast majority of areas appearing litter free”.
Approach roads from Athy and Portlaoise were very clean and litter free. The bring bank was in good condition.
General tidiness was good, with the majority of areas weed free and most road verges and footpaths neatly swept.
Judges praised the use of composting, and the expansion of the bottle bank.
Whitethorn Grove estate was praised, and the Rahim Road estate and the Crescent were “generally good”. Rahim Towers looked quite well.
The village has an attractive and well maintained residential area said judges.