Balbriggan Tidy Towns invited to a Ceremony with President Higgins

June 27, 2013 0

Last years overall winner of the National Tidy Towns competition was the beautiful village of Abbeyshrule in Co Longford. On Saturday the 22nd of June 2013 two representatives of the Balbriggan Tidy Towns team Alex McCullagh and Larry Taylor were invited to the awards ceremony in Abbeyshrule which began at 3.00pm. The Balbriggan representatives returned with new enthusiasm ‘it was so refreshing to witness of such dedication and success in what is a very tiny village’ stated Alex.

balbriggan_tidy_towns_meet_president_higgins_27jun13The event was honoured to have President Higgins deliver a very upbeat speech emphasising that he found ‘that Tidy Towns activities were very real and tangible and involved the whole community’. He added that ‘the voluntary work benefited both visitor and resident’. To start the ceremony a singled engine aircraft entertained the 500 strong crowd with an exciting overhead air display. The President and his wife Sabena Higgins were very easy going as they greeted the assembled Tidy Towners and one could get to talk to them if one wished.

Two others members from the Abbeyshrule committee also spoke about the local team which apparently comprises of about 20 volunteers. They have very strong links with other Longford villages, FAS, Rural Employment Scheme, Longford County Council and Department of Environment etc. The chairperson spoke about having imported lots of good ideas from having been on Sligo Tidy Towns committee. Four young local children recited various pieces of literature one of which was ‘The Schoolmaster from Goldsmith’s Deserted Village.

balbriggan_tidy_towns_meet_president_higgins_27jun13_2The President’s role also included the unveiling a commemorative plaque while seven harpists played traditional music. There were also six local shire horses and their owners providing a guard of honour.

After the event our members Alex McCullagh and Lawrence took a tour of the Abbeyshrule village and found it to be a pleasant main street bounded largely by natural stone walls and plentiful supply of small window boxes, the clean Royal canal and an equally clean fast flowing river added to the vista. The canal has been made a focal point in the village by integrating a grassy park area with granite seating. It was noted that there was a complete lack of litter or derelict buildings.

Balbriggan Tidy Towns have won an endeavor award for the last two years in 2011 and 2012 and these achievements were instrumental in receiving the invitation to this event. ‘We were very impressed with the professional approach of the Abbeyshrule team and we are inspired to continue to make improvements that will enhance the Balbriggan town environment’ said Larry. balbriggan_tidy_towns_meet_president_higgins_27jun13_larger