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17 May 2022

Abbeyleix Tidy Towns helps Laois Federation get ready for national competition

Abbeyleix Tidy Towns hosted the Laois Federation of Tidy Towns Seminar as the 2022 National Tidy Towns Competition was launched last week.

A key message in the seminar to group was that the competition is no longer about hanging baskets but building a community that people are proud to be part of.

The well-attended event kicked off with a tour of the village and community garden by Abbeyleix Tidy Towns veteran Mary White and continued long into the night.

Suzanne Dempsey, Environmental Awareness Officer, Laois County Council, spoke at the event.

“The turnout at tonight’s event demonstrates the huge dedication that Tidy Towns Volunteers have for their communities and they continue to make an enormous contribution to civic life in Laois and the seminar is just one way that the Laois County Council can support them,” she said.

Debbie Nesbitt, Tidy Towns adjudicator for over 14 years and expert in the Sustainability category of the Tidy Towns Competition gave an update on developments in the competition and an overview of what judges are looking for in each of the eight categories. He outlined that the Tidy Towns Competition is a rigorous competition covering a wide range of categories and groups are always looking for new volunteers to assist with projects that cover a range of interests.

Robbie Quinn from Abbeyleix Tidy Towns gave an inspiring presentation and offered huge insight into how they have become one of the top Tidy Towns groups in the country. They had innovative projects in every category of the competition.

Anne Marie Maher, Sports and Leisure Officer with Laois County Council gave invaluable advice into sources of funding for project they may have been inspired to undertaken after the night’s presentations.  

Pizza hot from the pizza oven and African cuisine prepared by residents of the direct provision centre was served to guests from Tidy Towns Committees from across County Laois. 

A demonstration of Reverse Vending Machines was made by Colin from the Return for Change campaign from VOICE Ireland.

These Reverse Vending Machines are due to be rolled out in supermarkets nationwide by the end of the year.  They will result in a significant reduction in litter from plastic bottles and cans as these will be subject to a refund when deposited at these machines.

The generous spirit of the community of Abbeyleix was further evidenced by the presentation of goody bags containing local produce donated by local businesses to all attendees!

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