Congratulations to Letterkenny – Ireland’s Tidiest Town of 2015! Out of a possible 450 points, Delvin has been awarded 224 in the national competition – that’s a 5 point increase on last year’s score of 219. However, that still places us 31st out of the 32 towns that entered the competition from Westmeath!
So what now?
Our village is looking better than ever, between the sterling but top secret work of the Tidy Towns Committee itself, the long awaited and fought for enhancements to our road surfaces and paths by Westmeath County Council last winter, and of course the great work that has been done by the residents and businesses themselves to improve their own premises and village surroundings.
In the eyes of the national competition however, it would appear that unless your village has a river running through it (or an expanse of water generally), you are at an immediate disadvantage. Should we therefore consider flooding Castle View and offer the judges boat trips and ice lollies next year? Let’s not forget either the damage that none other than Michael Leonard has caused to our score in recent years, simply by having shutters on his premises (2014) and by putting out his bins (2013). Messy Michael didn’t get a mention this year, but a sign at Lenihan’s Butchers “could be cleaned” according to the visiting adjudicator’s report this year. Seriously?
Moderate littering was noted throughout the village. This is easily remedied and everyone has a role to play in the responsible disposal of their litter. That said, cars passing through the village often use the lay-by outside of Castle View to rest and passengers have been seen throwing their rubbish over the wall. This certainly needs to be addressed.
On a positive note, well done to the Camán Inn, Carmel Gaffney’s and (the closed!) Tierney’s Shop who were given particular praise for the presentation of their premises.
There is little doubt that an organised campaign can help to spearhead improvements to our village environment and to maintain standards, but do we actually need to enter the national competition? Does it give us something to aim for or does it set unrealistic targets for things that wouldn’t really benefit those living or doing business here? Are there any true advantages to being part of this competition, or is it all just a racket?
Click here to read the full adjudicators report.