27/06/2002

Loughgall wins 'Best Kept' village

DOE Permanent Secretary Stephen Quinn has congratulated Loughgall on winning Ireland’s 'Best Kept' Award.

Speaking in the Harbour Office, Corporation Square, Belfast, Mr Quinn said Loughgall was the winner of Ireland’s Best Kept Award 2002.

Individual awards went to Loughgall for Best Kept Village, Westport for Best Kept Small Town while Killarney won the Best Kept Large Town category.

Commending the towns and villages which were successful in their local Best Kept competitions, Mr Quinn said: "A well-presented and attractive local environment is a great asset to any community. This scheme is an excellent way of promoting a community spirit. We want our towns and villages, both in the North and South, to be clean and tidy places in which to live, and we want them to be an attractive, well-presented and welcoming environment for visitors.

"I commend all the hard work done by the people who brought their town or village up to the high standard required to come into contention for these awards."

Paying tribute to the Northern Ireland Amenity Council for its part in organising the Best Kept competition, Mr Quinn said: "We also congratulate the Amenity Council for its hard work and commitment in organising this awards scheme and for the way it manages to stimulate and harness community interest and involvement. Thanks are also due to SuperValue and to Shell.

"We can see the very positive results throughout Northern Ireland."

Since 1996, the Best Kept schemes in the North and South have come together with the top towns in each jurisdiction competing on an all-island basis.

Judges assess the nominated villages and towns on:
  • Presentation of buildings
  • Appearance of approach roads and streets and public facilities
  • Presentation of natural environment
  • Presentation of residential areas, gardens and private frontages
  • Tidiness
  • Comprehensiveness
  • General impression
Entrants for this year’s competition were as follows: large towns - Armagh, Ballymoney, Ennis, Killarney and Skerries; small towns - Broughshane, Kenmare, Waringstown and Westport; villages: Castletown, Keadue, Leighlinbridge, Loughgall, Malin, Newtowncashel and Rathberry.

The 2001 winners of Northern Ireland’s Best Kept Awards and the Republic of Ireland’s Tidy Towns Competition are entered in the 2002 scheme.

The event which is sponsored by SuperValue supermarkets is organised by the Republic of Ireland’s Department of the Environment and Local Government and in Northern Ireland, by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council. Shell Northern Ireland sponsors Northern Ireland’s Best Kept Towns awards.

(SP)


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