Ballinahown in south Westmeath has once again scooped the top Tidy Towns prize in the county, for the sixth year in a row.
The picturesque village claimed an impressive 293 out of a possible 400 points, a three-point increase on last year’s result. It also took home a bronze medal in Tidy Towns category A, with a prize of €400.
The adjudicators heaped praise on features including the high standard of landscaping throughout the village, the sculpture trail, and the school, church, and fountain feature.
The play park was described as “probably the finest layout of a children’s play area this adjudicator has ever seen”.
Runners-up in Westmeath were Tyrrellspass with a score of 268, up seven points on last year, Glasson just behind with 266, seven points down on last year, and Multyfarnham with 261 points.
Meanwhile Athlone fared well with a total score of 239, gaining just one point over the previous year’s score.
The local Tidy Towns committee were particularly praised for the “sense of cooperation”, with adjudicators commenting: “The overall impression gained from the survey of Athlone was that a great effort is being made and by a large team”.
Positive comments were received on Athlone Castle, St Mary’s Church, the Dean Crowe Theatre, attractive shop fronts, roundabout landscaping, and planting and street furniture. The town’s “exemplary” and “far-sighted” recycling work was also noted.
However, despite what is described as a “excellent entry”, Athlone fell down in the litter category, with “quite a bit of litter” seen on adjudication day. The adjudicators also felt there were insufficient cycle lanes, particularly on the outskirts of town.
Mullingar fared marginally better than Athlone this year, scoring a total of 244.