24 November 2017
By Bryan Smyth
This year’s SuperValu TidyTowns awards for the South West and Midwest region were presented today, Friday 24th November, at a prize-giving ceremony in the Woodstock Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare. SuperValu TidyTowns winners were presented with their awards by Minister of State, Pat Breen, T.D., and Niall O Callaghan, Community and Sponsorship Manager with Supervalu, proud sponsors of the competition. Also joining the Minister on stage was Siobhan King of Fáilte Ireland.
At the ceremony, Minister Breen, spoke of the recently announced scheme which will allow Supervalu TidyTowns committees to apply for a grant of between €1,000 and €4,000. Minister Breen said “I am delighted with the recently announced grant scheme that Supervalu TidyTowns committees can avail of. Generations of people in communities have volunteered with TidyTowns to make our country a place we can all be proud of. I have nothing but admiration for the volunteers here tonight and across the country and this grant scheme is recognition from the Government of the huge contribution made by citizens in their own community. 2018 sees the 60th Anniversary of the Supervalu TidyTowns competition and this grant scheme is just part of the Department’s celebration of that milestone.”
Ennis won the regional title, as well as Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre with Clonakilty winning the title of Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town. A full list of today’s prizewinner’s is attached.
Minister Breen added: “It is fantastic to have the opportunity this evening to meet Supervalu TidyTowns groups across this region. These awards are just a small reward for the efforts of so many volunteers who take pride in their home town and work tirelessly to make it a better place now and for future generations. The unselfish effort and generosity displayed by these volunteers makes a huge difference in our communities. Today, we also recognise all the other Supervalu TidyTowns groups not here today who are also committed to improving their community’s year on year but have yet to achieve formal recognition in the competition. I must make special mention of Ennis and Clonakilty, congratulations to them both as well as all of today’s other prize-winners.”
The Minister also thanked TidyTowns’ main sponsor SuperValu. “For 26 years SuperValu has been involved in this competition at local and national level and they have helped it to flourish and grow and continue to demonstrate a real commitment to supporting local communities. They have worked closely with Department officials to help make it the success it is today.”
Niall O Callaghan, SuperValu Community and Sponsorship Manager said: “At SuperValu we believe in building vibrant local communities and the SuperValu TidyTowns competition goes to the heart of what community is all about. The allocation of funding by Minister Ring to Supervalu Tidy Towns groups around the country in order to further improve their communities is a fitting gesture to mark the 60th anniversary of this competition. I have no doubt that the money will be a huge boost to the groups and will be put to very good use in towns and villages around Ireland.”
Mr. O Callaghan continued: “The incredible dedication shown by the volunteers involved is truly admirable and continues to amaze us year after year. Their relentless commitment to working to build better local communities is what makes this competition the success it is today. As Ireland’s leading grocery retailer, with 219 stores across Ireland and retailers embedded in communities around the country, SuperValu is extremely proud to have sponsored TidyTowns for the past 26 years, one of the longest running sponsorships in Ireland. I am delighted to recognise the dedication of TidyTowns committees in the South West and Midwest who are at the heart of their local communities, working tirelessly behind the scenes throughout the year to enhance their locality.”
Interest in the SuperValu TidyTowns competition has been stronger than ever in recent years and with a record 870 communities entering the competition in 2017. The competition has been running since 1958 and is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The competition has been sponsored by SuperValu since 1992.