Skip links and go to Page Content

County Kildare News


News Menu

News Archive


Advertise Here

February 15, 2008

Tidy Towns People See How It's Done

Timolin Tidy Towns and Moone Tidy Towns committees sent three represntatives to Aughrim,  2007 National Winners to see how the best in the country go about climbing up the Marks ladder. They got 299 out of a possible 400. Last year Timolin got 218 marks and Moone 229 .

The trip was organised by Anne Marie Conneely of Kildare County Council to give all the smaller town contestants a chance to see the winning town. Bernie Harrow, Brenda and Sean Cleary went on the trip from this area. Ten towns in all went to Aughrim.
Aughrim is unique in that the Tidy Towns Committee owns the Town Park which includes a 4 acre man made lake, a community centre, restaurant and its own shop. And they aquired it and built it themselves. While we were there the weekly Farmers Market was in progress - all seasonally indoors.

The Lake is developed as a Rainbow Trout Fishing centre and was Ireland's first Disabled Fisherperson friendly location. It is reguarly re-stocked - last year at a cost of Euro 25,000 and we were told you are almost certain to catch at least one. You can keep whatever you catch. Fishing is paid for by the hour and they will even hire you the rod. This is their main source of income and with it they also service the huge borrowings that built and developed the centre.

The comittee is what can only be described as a 'CAN DO' organisation. If they decide to improve some thing or place then they get on and do it. Organising funding is just another part of the job not a barrier to progress. They would regard grants as a help not a necessity.
As committee members walked around the town with us they picked up the odd bit of litter and put it into Litter Bins as a matter of course. Litter begets litter is their motto and if the place is kept clean soon everyone gets the message. If a premises is in need of a coat of paint they will offer to paint it and if the owner can then get  part of fullly paid for it. If they don't get paid, so be it, the town looks the better and others who can afford it will keep their premises looking fresh and fine.

There was not an over- dependance on flower beds and and high maintainance decor. Rather they have developed natural areas that enhance views, recreation areas and a series of walks.

The most impressive features of their philosiphy were that you do what you can do, well ( Rome was not built in a day -it took them 20 years to reach the top ! ) and that you think positively. Sooner or later those who do not have an interest in helping keep their own place and environment in good shape will see that they are only hurting themselves more that their neighbours. Then they too will come on board and they will be welcomed without any acrimony.