Great Turnout for Monaghan Tidy Towns Annual Awards Night 2023 with launch of unique “Biodiversity Town” project.
Monaghan Tidy Towns added the launch of their unique “Biodiversity Town” project to their annual awards presentations to a wide range of businesses and individuals from across the town, all of whom have been making an important contribution to the TidyTowns effort. Monaghan Tidy Towns’ Chairperson, Emer Brennan said, “Everyone has really made an important effort to help the town look its best again this year. This work has helped the town add 10 points to its score and retain a silver medal as well as a county award. Monaghan Town scores very highly under the “Built Environment” and “Streetscape” categories in the National Tidy Towns adjudication every year and visiting adjudicators frequently point to the high standard of presentation of businesses and shops in the town. The Committee is very grateful to everyone who has done their bit to keep the town looking well. These awards have been one of the foundation stones for our continued improvement in our Tidy Towns scores for over ten years now.”
“We are especially grateful for our council horticulturalist Michael Carroll who has brought great innovation to landscaping and of course council ground-staff for their hard work. We are particularly pleased that the council now has a Biodiversity Officer, Climate Action Officers and a new Environmental Awareness Officer. We really appreciate the support of St Joseph’s CE Scheme and all our volunteers and resident’s groups. Council staff on the ground deserve a special mention for their hard work in lifting the IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter) result from the mid 20’s to 6th place nationally. All this combined with the excellent presentation of businesses in the town is making a big difference to our Tidy Towns results and helping towards our ambition to reach gold medal status”
“This year our independent judges were provided by Dromiskin Tidy Towns who came to visit us in Monaghan. One of the great benefits of Tidy Towns is the networking that exists between groups both within the county and across the country,” she said.
The awards night kicked off with the launch of the Leader funded “Biodiversity Town” project which is focused on promoting the urban biodiversity of the town. (see separate article) Emer Brennan gave an overview of the town’s significant progress in the National Tidy Towns Competition over the last ten years. Senator Robbie Gallagher and Councillors David Maxwell, Seamus Treanor, Sean Conlon and Paudge Connolly were also in attendance.
The award winners were as follows:
Best Shop Front was Gillanders of Market Street for the second year running.. The judges loved the tasteful traditional façade, classic colours and heritage sign writing with attractive shop window arrangement.
Best Shop for Floral Display was Wards Pharmacy, also of Market Street, immaculate, tidy and fresh with a colourful array of hanging baskets along the front. Attractive floral painting on the shop windows and doors finishes the look which impressed the judges
Best Pub went to The Poc Fada, painted with attractive heritage colours and resplendent with both hanging baskets and window boxes, the judges were particularly taken with the “blues” mural and the attention to detail throughout.
Best Business Front was a particularly competitive section this year and the judges chose the impressive Station House/Craftstudio combination in the restored old railway station on the North Road. Describing the result as “stunning” they were impressed by the use of corten steel and the blending of a modern feel with a heritage building of note.
Best Service Station was, once again, Sam’s Bridge/Maxol at Coolshannagh where attention to litter is always first class and an excellent example to all.
This year the judge’s particular interest in sustainability ensured that the Best Window Display went to Missy A’s on Park Street. Judges were highly impressed with the craft and cleverness of the handmade items on display.
The Hospitality category includes hotels, restaurants and B&Bs and saw a repeat win for Dinkins Café, admired for its heritage greens, vibrant window boxes, effective signage and logo.
In the Green Estate category, Mullaghmatt Cortolvin won out for the lead they are taking in biodiversity and sustainability actions. Mullaghmatt Cortolvin has its own biodiversity plan and has accessed funding to implement it. Judges suggested that this group could mentor others by sharing their experience of success.
This year’s Community Heroes Awards went to The National Learning Network for their volunteering at the Sage Garden, Rope Walk and their work in keeping the Diamond Car Park litter-free rising its score in IBAL from a C to an A grade. Monaghan Men’s Shed were honoured for their fantastic support, not just to Tidy Towns but to many other community groups in the town and the Migrant Men’s group were the third group to receive an award for their voluntary assistance in 2023.
The Best Garden Awards were expanded this year and nominees included Rosaleen Ray, Cootehill Rd, Thomas Costin, Belgium Park, Bernadette Batnym, Beechgrove Lawns Bernie Lappin, Plantation Tce, Elaine Hyde, Westenra Tce., Dominic Meehan, Killygoan
Anna B Mc Gorman, Clones Rd., Monica Carty, Killyconnigan, Frances Hughes, Belgium Park, Michelle Coogan, New Tce., Seamus Mc Eneaney New Terrace, K Lamb, 32 Belgium Park, Svetlana Prodanova, Belgium Park, Teresa Mc Cooey, 2 Belgium Park, Michael Mc Nally, Belgium Park, Fiona Lamb, Belgium Park, Eleanor Mc Cann, Belgium Park, Alice mc Adam, Canal View, Dympna Toal, Cortolvin Rd., Mary Clerkin, Tully, Peggy Mc Mahon, Tully, Glynis Craney, Tully, Bridie mc Gahon, Tully and Fona Mc Cleary, Manorwood
The winner for Large Garden was Rosaleen Ray with an impressive pollinator friendly display while Alice Mc Adam took the award for the small garden.
The Tidy Towns Committee appreciate all those who attended to support the award winners on the night. Special thanks to Phil Collins, Rosanna Myles and Pamela Kenny for all their support with the awards and to Dromiskin Tidy Towns for their insightful judging.