Spirit of TidyTowns
SuperValu TidyTowns has always been about the National Competition. However, the sprit of TidyTowns has permeated Irish society far deeper than that. Many people today are not even aware that TidyTowns was originally linked to a single competition organised for 37 years. First of all by Bord Fáilte, then the Irish Tourist Board, and now by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The reasons for this are many, but a major factor was the success of the National Competition from the 1950s onwards. This encouraged many other bodies, notably local authorities and communities themselves, to organise their own initiatives under the TidyTowns banner consequently spreading the message far and wide. Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in local initiatives of every shape and size over the last fifty years. Their input has made a massive contribution to making TidyTowns the national movement that it is today. Year on Year the competition is thriving with committee entries increasing and exceeding over 800 for the last 3 years.
Many of these local initiatives are still going strong, some with a new title and different focus. Their ongoing success is a constant reminder that TidyTowns means far more than just the national competition. It is a spirit alive and well in all those initiatives and those who participate in them. Thousands of individuals and organisations who every day take some action, large or small, to improve their local environment.
Entry into the national competition is the best way to consolidate community effort and garner broader support. However, the TidyTowns philosophy and framework is relevant to anyone who wishes to follow in its sprit in their own way. To see how TidyTowns may assist you in your activities, check out the various topics contained in this section or contact the TidyTowns unit to get a free copy of the TidyTowns Handbook.