Last Monday Westport once again claimed a major national prize in the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition, when it was announced one of Ireland’s Tidiest Large Towns at the awards ceremony in the Helix in Dublin. Westport previously won the overall prize in 2001, 2006, and 2008. It has also taken the Tidiest Large Town prize in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, and in 2012. Welcoming the news Minister of State, Michael Ring, said: “This award is richly deserved following the endless work and dedication involved in keeping Westport tidy. I wish to take this opportunity to highly commend the chairperson of Westport Tidy Towns, Ms Rhona Chambers, the committee itself, and the large number of volunteers”. He continued: "The people of Westport take huge pride in the appearance of the town and it is wonderful to see their work in this regard being rewarded.”
Westport picked up 318 marks in the competition, just two marks behind the overall winner Kilkenny and was presented with a trophy and a €5,000 prize.
Belmullet was given 308 marks and picked up a sliver medal in the Tidiest Small Town category, along with being highly commended overall. Murrisk was awarded 307 marks and won a bronze medal in the Tidiest Village category along with being commended for its efforts. Castlebar also picked up a bronze medal after being awarded 299 marks in the Tidiest Large Town category.
Kilmaine picked up an endeavour award and a €500 prize for its 254 points which was a 5.4 per cent improvement on the marks from last year. The Karen/GIY Community Garden in Ballina won the Sustainable Development Award and a prize of €1,000 for its work this year. The category winners in Mayo were Bonniconlon, Murrisk, Belmullet, Ballinrobe, Westport, and Castlebar.
The Tidy Towns competition sees towns and villages judged in eight different categories with a total of 450 marks available. The categories are community involvement and planning (60 marks ), built environment and streetscape (50 marks ), landscaping and open spaces (50 marks ), wildlife, habitats, and natural amenities (50 marks ), tidiness and litter control (90 marks ), sustainable waste and resource management (50 marks ), residential streets and housing areas (50 marks ), approach roads, streets and lanes (50 marks ). The full breakdown of the results can be found at www.tidytowns.ie