2019 Tidy Towns Results Swinford

The 2019 Tidy Towns results were published last Monday. The awards ceremony was held in the Helix Theatre in DCU and was recorded by RTE. The Awards ceremony was broadcast on the evening on Nationwide on RTE 1 at 7pm and can be viewed on the RTE player. Interest in the National Tidy Towns has been growing year on year. This year there were a record 883 entries into the competition, which is now in its 61st year this year.

Overall Winner : Glaslough, Co Monaghan

Tidiest Large Urban Centre : Ennis, Co Clare

Tidiest Large Town : Westport Co Mayo

Tidiest Small Town : Blackrock, Co Louth

Tidiest Village : Glaslough Co Monaghan

swinford tidy towns logoSwinford  have been awarded 285 points, which is an increase of  9 points in this years competition. Swinford  achieved 276 marks in last years competition. The tidy towns committee are delighted with this years result & report, as we’re sure you are too. As always however, there is still more to be done. Huge thanks to everyone that has helped out throughout the year. Great credit has to go to everyone in the Swinford community. There has been so much work done over the last few years. Every little bit helps, no matter how small, it really does make a huge difference. We are getting so many positive comments back from tourists and people who have been away from Swinford, that notice a huge improvement in the appearance of the town!

Not everybody has computer access so we would ask that you please share these results. You can also download a printer friendly version at the bottom of this page. We would ask all business’s to please display the results on your premises, thank you.

Swinford Report – 13/06/2019

Community – Your Planning and Involvement / An Pobal – Pleanáil agus Rannpháirtíocht:

Cuireann an moltóir seo fáilte roimh Swinford – Béal Atha na Muice páirt a ghlacadh i gComórtas Náisiúnta SuperValu na mBailte Slachtmhara 2019. Thank you very much for your entry into this year’s Tidy Towns Competition and for providing a map and your 5 year plan as well as some additional photographs and other material such as examples of posters etc. which were very helpful. With a core number of 10 people on your committee and a further 12 volunteers, you have a good base to carry out your work.
You work with a wide range or organisations including Mayo County Council, An Taisce, OPW, local businesses,
the Western Fisheries Board, Birdwatch Mayo and many others. It is good to hear that your work on Tidy Towns and the ‘Pride of Place’ competitions has led to an increased sense of community spirit and pride in your town and that you have seen a reduction in the number of vacant buildings in the town.

Streetscape & Public Places / Sráid-Dreach & Áiteanna Poiblí:

Some premises in the town that looked particularly attractive included The Flower Cabin, with an eye catching pink
exterior, the East Mayo Anglers Association, Bee Golden Health food shop, and The Flying Doc Bar & Brasserie, and Melletts.
Public buildings of note include the Library and Cultural Centre, both banks, the Church which is very well maintained with good quality landscaping. Although the majority of shops and businesses in the town are doing their best to present an attractive façade, there are quite a few places which would benefit from a fresh coat of paint and perhaps some planters or window boxes.
In your comprehensive 5 year plan you have set out some very fundamental issues to work towards that includes
major projects such as bringing vacant buildings back to productive use, structural work such as the extension of
existing footpaths as well as to build new ones and the installation of new street furniture, to goals that are more
obtainable in the short term such as cleaning street furniture, planting hanging baskets and carry out surveys of
different aspects of the physical infrastructure of the town. This is a very good approach to take as there is a lot of
potential in Swinford, and some lovely buildings, but it will take some time to achieve all of this and it is important
that you do not get disheartened with all the work in front of you but to persevere.

Green Spaces and Landscaping / Spásanna Glasa agus Tírdhreachú:

The Brabazon Woodlands are a wonderful amenity for the town to enjoy, and appears to be a popular spot judging by the number of people that were enjoying a stroll here on the day I visited, and you are to be commended for the work you are doing in planting native trees here, including to replace those that have been felled or damaged by storms, and the Tús scheme workers have to be acknowledged for their assistance. The playground was well kept and looked very well. It is good to see that you have committed to the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and are ensuring that grass verges are cut according to this in order to help our bee population.

Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality / An Dúlra agus an Bhithéagsúlacht i do cheantar:

This is a category in which you are doing a lot of work, particularly in relation to the wildlife to be found in Swinford and its environs. The Swifts survey is one such area in conjunction with the Green school committee along with the installation of
Swift boxes to encourage Swifts to nest, and it would seem that it is working as you mention that their numbers have increased.
You are also carrying out a survey of the Salmon and Trout in the Swinford stream with the help of East Mayo
Anglers Association, as well as cleaning up the stream. You also plan to undertake a bat survey in the town and install new bat boxes, perhaps you could make an event and have a bat walk, something that is usually very popular with children. I also saw recently where a special camera (I think it was infrared) was installed into a bats habitat and they could be observed without being disturbed, but this is something I would recommend that you seek advice from the Environmental Officer in Mayo County
Council. Invasive species such as Japanese knotweed are a problem in many areas and it is good to see that you are tackling this issue in the correct way.

Sustainability – Doing more with less / Inmharthanacht – Mórán ar an mbeagán:

The work of the schools in Swinford in this category is highly impressive, with a fantastic 12 Green Flags in total between Swinford Secondary School, Swinford and Culmore National Schools with more to come by the looks of things. There are some very good energy efficiency measures utilized in the refurbishment of the Community Centre including insulation, double glazing and low energy lighting.
You are ahead of the curve with your rainwater harvesting with 100% of your needs being met through this which is something that is beginning to become more prevalent, but is still not utilized by all towns and villages. A lot of other interesting projects your are working on include your ‘Food Cloud’ initiative to reduce food waste, quite an issue in Ireland, ‘greening’ the St Patrick’s day parade and Síamsa Sráide, additional recycling bank to deal with the pressure on them, composting bins and to extend this to communal compost bins, as well as annual WEEE recycling and hazardous waste collection amongst many others. Well done for your comprehensive and practical approach to this category,

Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:

You are making huge efforts in this area, with numerous litter pick ups being carried out by many different groups such as the Tidy Towns volunteers, Transition year students, Scout Troop litter pick up etc., well done on galvanising all this support. The bring bank area was clean overall, however there was some rubbish dumped there, so it might be worth making a special effort here.There is also a concerted effort to reduce the plight of dog fouling through your mutt-mitt dispensers project was very well-illustrated. You also take part in the Mayo County Council anti-litter league, as well as the national and European clean-ups and involve the schools as well. It is good to hear that your hard work and concerted efforts are bearing fruit and that you have noticed a visible difference in the amount of litter to be seen in your town, so well done on this.

Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:

Generally houses and residential areas were kept to a high standard, many having lovely planting or hanging baskets, planters or window boxes. Although a few housing estates were visited, Brabazon Heights in particular stood out and was very neat and tidy as was the nearby ‘Orchard’ estate. Railway terrace also had some nice houses as did Dun na Ri. Sancta Maria Terrace looked well and was complemented by the wildflower garden. Well done to all concerned and perhaps as the standard is quite high it might be worthwhile to have a residential areas competition with some friendly rivalry to lead to even more improvements. Are there residents associations set up?

Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:

The approach roads to Swinford give a great first impression, I approached from the Dublin road and was impressed with the neatness of the grass verges, (which included a ‘wildflower’ strip for our bees and butterflies). The entrance signs looked well
djudicator entered Swinford from the Dublin road entrance and was pleased on the superb presentation of neat verges, a corridor of uncut grass for our bees and butterflies. The signs and landscaping also looked very well.

Concluding Remarks:

It was a pleasure to visit Swinford and see all the hard work and effort that is going on, and although there is some work to be done, in particular with some of the dereliction in the town you are making great strides, well done and best of luck with all that you plan to accomplish.

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Michael

P.R.O. Swinford Tidy Towns. Committee meetings every Tuesday night at 8 in Gateway Hotel. Volunteers meet every Wednesday eve at 7pm (summertime) & every Saturday at 11am (all year) at No Name Club on Chapel St.
Michael
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