AS a heritage haven and pretty tourism destination, the lens is often on Westport. But now, perhaps, the keepers of its reputation may need to wear bi-focals as both the Tidy Towns and The Irish Times ‘Best Place to Live in Ireland’ judges may, in the coming days, be lurking in every second flower bed and in the shadow of the many attractive features that distinguish the west Mayo town.
Unsurprisingly, Westport, having beaten off over 500 competitors, is in the top five areas remaining in The Irish Times competition. Its competitors are the village of Ardara, County Donegal, Rathmines, County Dublin, Cork city and Killarney, County Kerry. The winner will be announced in next Monday’s (June 25) edition of The Irish Times.
Former Westport resident, who still has a home in the town and is a regular visitor, John O’Callaghan made the submission to the competition.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday, Mr O’Callaghan said he was ‘so thrilled’ because he really ‘feels passionate about the town’.
“I have always extolled the virtues of Westport wherever I have travelled and even though I haven’t lived in Westport for over 30 years, I still have a home on the Quay Hill and return regularly with my wife, Noreen (Mitchell), who is a native of Louisburgh,” John O’Callaghan explained.
Putting his ‘Covie credentials’ in context, he said his late mother, Kitty Geraty was brought up where Dunning’s pub is now situated on the Octagon. She met his late father, a native of Kerry, while working in Westport Post Office, where his father, Michael O’Callaghan, was Post Master.
Meanwhile, multi-award winning Westport Tidy Towns has called on all businesses and residents to make that final extra effort to prettify the town as the annual judging period fast approaches.
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