The Tidy Towns Competition

The Tidy Towns competition

tidy towns logo

  • Information
  • Rules
  • Rates
  • How to apply
  • Where to apply


The Tidy Towns competition is a national competition organised by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. The competition involves participating towns being rated on all aspects of their local environment. It has been running since 1958 and each year attracts more than 700 communities who compete for a cash award and the title of Ireland’s Tidiest Town.

The Tidy Towns competition is launched each year in March/April. Judging takes place in June, July and August each year and the results are announced at the National Awards Ceremony in September.


Who can enter?

Entry into the Tidy Towns competition is voluntary and the competition is open to every village, town and city area in the State. The competition is for local communities who are interested in improving the quality of their surroundings and, in the process, developing community spirit. In general, entries are voluntary committees that identify the work that needs to be done and carry it out in co-operation with other local interests (such as local authorities, businesses, residents’ associations, volunteers etc.).


The town that has been judged the overall winner in the competition is named Ireland’s Tidiest Town and wins a cash prize, together with a perpetual trophy and plaque. The award is made to the committee and is usually used to help fund the committee’s activities the following year. The overall winner is selected from four category winners; Tidiest Village, Tidiest Small Town, Tidiest Large Town, and Tidiest Large Urban Centre. There is a cash prize in each of these categories and a perpetual trophy. While an area may not score highly enough to win these awards, it can still win a special prize for particular projects undertaken in the community.

How the competition is marked

Participants are assessed under eight criteria with a total of 450 marks as follows:

  • Community Involvement & Planning (60 marks)
  • Built Environment & Streetscape (50 marks)
  • Landscaping & Open Spaces (50 marks)
  • Wildlife, Habitats & Natural Amenities (50 marks)
  • Tidiness & Litter Control (90 marks)
  • Sustainable Waste & Resource Management (50 marks)
  • Residential Streets & Housing Areas (50 marks)
  • Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes (50 marks)

These criteria are deliberately broad and incorporate everything from the historical and cultural uniqueness of the location to the conservation of natural amenities and wildlife areas. Participants can identify sub-areas for judges to look at but judges assess the full area of the town or village. Where boundaries are not clear (for example in urban areas) judges generally assess a one-kilometre area in all directions from the centre.


There are no entry fees for the competition, but you must enter the correct population category for your town. You can check your town’s population figure against the latest Census of Population available from the Central Statistics Office – see ‘Where to apply’ below.


Category Population
A Under 200
B 201-1,000
C 1,001-2500
D 2,501-5,000
E 5,001-10,000
F 10,001-15,000
G 15,001-25,000
H 25,001 and over

How to apply

Contact the Tidy Towns Unit of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to check if there is a committee already set up in your area. If your area does not have a committee, the Tidy Towns Unit will advise on how to set up your own committee and assist you in applying to participate in the competition. The Unit also has information and advice about preparing for the competition.


Where to apply

You can request a Tidy Town application form from the Tidy Towns Unit in the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.

Completed application forms for the Tidy Towns competition should be forwarded to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government at the address below.



Tidy Towns Unit

Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
Teeling Street
County Sligo

Tel:(071) 910 7802

Information concerning the latest Census of Population is available from:


Central Statistics Office

Skehard Road

Tel:(021) 453 5000
Locall:1890 31 34 14
Fax:(021) 453 5555

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