It was another golden moment for East Cork at Dublin’s Helix Theatre when both Cobh and Youghal made a clean sweep at this year’s Tidy Towns competition on Monday 24 September.
Cobh received a Gold medal for the fourth year in a row with Youghal receiving their second.
Cobh, who were also highly commended in the South Cork area, increased last year’s score of 323 points by an impressive seven points putting them nine points behind the overall winners, Listowel.
Youghal also advanced their score by 7, being just 14 points behind the north Kerry town and putting them in the top 60 towns nationally out of 883 entrants.
Ned Brennan (Chairman of Youghal Tidy Towns), said his group of 34 members are looking to achieve the overall title within the next three years.
“We’ve been advancing slowly over the past number of years by 5 to 7 marks. Next year is going to be a challenging year, with the Iron Man coming to Youghal, and extra effort will have to be put in. We are aiming to be the tidiest town in Ireland in the next 3 years” commented Mr Brennan.
Ruth Ring (Cobh Tidy Towns Chairwoman), beamed “It’s only a matter of time before we win the overall prize. When you are competing at the level we are at, extra points are hard to come by. It’s amazing that we increased our points base by so much.”
The judges singled out Cobh for their community involvement.
“It has probably been twenty years since the adjudicator last visited Cobh and was enamoured with developments within that time frame. There is obviously a strong community spirit behind Cobh’s transformation” they said.
Since 2008 Cobh Tidy Towns have worked despairingly on improving its image, having been “the dirtiest town in Ireland” as stated by IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter).
Cobh has seen steady progress since winning a first bronze medal in 2011 Cobh has seen steady progress since winning a first bronze medal in 2011The Harbour town has seen steady progress in the Tidy Towns since winning their first bronze in 2011.
Speaking with The East Cork Journal Ruth Ring paid tribute to her committee and volunteers who, she said, were the “backbone of the Tidy Towns”, while paying tribute to all the schools, businesses, community groups, residents and Cork County Council for their help in achieving the result.
Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Seamus McGrath, said it was a great achievement and Fine Gael Councillor Anthony Barry said he was, “absolutely delighted” with Cobh’s gold medal status.
Independent Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said she was “thrilled” with Youghal’s achievement and said great praise was due to Ned Brennan and his team of volunteers for their continued commitment to the town.
Not one to be sitting on their laurels, both towns are already planning for next year’s competition.
The Chairs called on locals with experience in the waste management and sustainability sectors to get in contact.
They also requested those with ideas on improving their surroundings to come forward.