LAOIS’ towns and villages enjoyed great success at this year’s Tidy Towns competitions with improved marks all round, but as well as the various groups being recognised, a Ballacolla woman was singled out for her many years of hard graft with Tidy Towns.
As well as the main competition, this year was the first year of the Tidy Towns Hero and out of tens of thousands of volunteers, Ballacolla’s Noreen Byrne was chosen along with 12 other recipients.
Noreen told the Leinster Express that she was delighted with the award and with Ballacolla’s achievements for yet another year. “I’m thrilled with the award and we are delighted here in Ballacolla, we retained 2nd place in Laois and we are up five points on last year. There will be lots of celebrating in Ballacolla tonight”.
Noreen started with Tidy Towns in 1980 and has been secretary in Ballacolla ever since. She is also chairperson of the Laois Federation of Tidy Towns. There are between 12 and 14 people on the committee in the village who work all year round on different projects. Noreen said that they also receive lots of help from the local FÁS scheme and from the local community.