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Westport pipped at the post in Tidy Town bid

Pipped at the post in Tidy Town bid – Killarney beats Westport

Áine Ryan

ONE miniscule mark meant that County Kerry tourism hotspot, Killarney, pipped Westport at the post in the annual Tidy Towns Competition, announced yesterday in Dublin. But while there may be certain misgivings on the GAA pitch, Pamela Flanagan Chairwoman of Westport Tidy Towns Committee, had nothing but fragrant praise for the winner when The Mayo News spoke to her yesterday afternoon.
“We are absolutely thrilled for Killarney. We have retained our county and regional gold awards and at 309 points, Westport was only one point behind the overall winner,” said Pamela Flanagan from Dublin.
“Killarney has been trying to win this competition for over 20 years. Westport has won it already three times [2001, 2006 and 2008] and now we have increased our points by three this year, I can tell you those three points are not easily achieved.
“Obviously, this year we focused on the Built Environment category and plan to continue to enhance that for next year’s competition,” Pamela Flanagan continued. 
In the judges’ citation they praised the links created by the Tidy Towns Committee with ‘all sectors of the community’. 
They noted that the resulting overall ‘partnership approach’ in ‘your lovely town’ is a fine demonstration of ‘how the Tidy Towns initiative works at an optimum level for the community’.
They cited the development of the Westport Greenway and the Greenway Recreational Park as fine examples of inclusive communal developments. Praising the beautifully presented buildings in Westport as ‘endless’, the citation also observes that the paintwork, low rooves and jaded look of specific buildings could be improved.
Attending yesterday’s celebrations in Dublin, Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council, Christy Hyland observed that ‘with a little extra effort from us all – in  cooperation with the committee –  Westport could win the title again’.
“I have to praise the Chairwoman, Pamela Flanagan for her wonderful commitment. She is out with the team of volunteers in all sorts of inclement weather. It is no surprise that Westport was just one mark behind the overall winner,” said Cllr Hyland.
He continued: “It is also a tribute to all the agencies in the town who work so well together and the spirit of volunteerism of the community.”
The awards were presented at the Helix at Dublin City University by Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, and Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Supervalu, which sponsors the awards.