Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces Abbeyleix Co. Laois as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2023
- Abbeyleix in Co. Laois named Ireland’s Tidiest Town and Overall winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town; Tipperary TidyTowns in Co. Tipperary wins Young Person’s Award
- Minister announces €1.5 million in grant aid for circa. 900 TidyTowns groups nationwide
- Minister Humphreys also announces winners of surprise Town Centre First Special Award sponsored by DRCD
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (6 October) announced Abbeyleix, Co. Laois as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2023.
Over 600 TidyTowns volunteers were present at the SuperValu TidyTowns awards ceremony at Croke Park in Dublin with the event live-streamed to thousands more online.
This year, 887 towns were competing for the prestigious awards demonstrating the continuing huge national interest in the SuperValu TidyTowns competition which has been running since 1958.
Abbeyleix, Co. Laois was named as Ireland’s Tidiest Town as well as Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town.
Minister Humphreys also presented a new award today to Cappoquin, Boyle and Ballyshannon TidyTowns groups, recognising their tremendous efforts to address vacancy and dereliction in line with the Government’s Town Centre First policy.
Announcing Abbeyleix as the overall winner, Minister Humphreys said:
“I offer my warmest congratulations to Abbeyleix and all of its TidyTowns volunteers for being crowned Ireland’s tidiest town for 2023.
“This is a truly great achievement and a special moment of immense pride for Abbeyleix and indeed the wider county of Laois.
“Having first entered the competition in 1960, Abbeyleix today continues to showcase all that is good about innovation, sustainability, community spirit and volunteerism. This is at the core of what the competition is all about.”
The Minister continued:
“As always, the standard of competition was extremely high this year in all categories, with 887 entries received overall.
“I want to pay tribute to all the winners today across all the various categories.
“In particular, I want to recognise the vital role of TidyTowns volunteers across the country who are working so hard all year round to ensure our communities are vibrant, sustainable places to live, work and visit. You are truly an inspiration, and the embodiment of everything that is good in our communities.”
SuperValu have been the competition’s main sponsor for over 30 years, and Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu, announced the results with Minister Humphreys.
Some of the other big winners on the day included:
- Geashill, Co. Offaly awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Village.
- Abbeyleix, Co. Laois awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town.
- Killarney, Co. Kerry awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town.
- Ballincollig, Co. Cork awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.
The Minister also thanked SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor, adding:
“SuperValu has been a loyal supporter and sponsor of the competition for over 30 years and continues to champion sustainability through their supportive network of retailers countrywide. Their team has worked very closely with my Department to make sure that this competition continues to be a success.”
Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu commented after the awards:
“On behalf of SuperValu, I would like to congratulate Abbeyleix on becoming Ireland’s Tidiest Town. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the committee and team of volunteers involved in the town. Since the inception of SuperValu’s valued partnership with TidyTowns, the competition has grown significantly and meaningfully. There are now over 1,000 active committees backed by a powerful movement of almost 30,000 volunteers all of whom are highly committed to enhancing their towns and villages all around the country. As a community retailer, it is a source of great pride for us at SuperValu to be involved in such an incredible initiative. For more than three decades, our teams and dedicated local SuperValu retailers have worked hand in hand with the Department of Rural and Community Development to develop and grow the SuperValu TidyTowns competition. The competition has become a powerful and uniting force, bringing together people from communities all over the country, working towards a common cause, and, critically, caring for our environment.
Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu continued:
“SuperValu TidyTowns has succeeded in not only making our towns and villages more attractive but more sustainable too, and this is evident in the increased focus on initiatives that have a powerful impact on biodiversity such as the development of pollinator friendly corridors and, rewilding outdoor areas. I would like to thank the TidyTowns Committees and volunteers for the relentless efforts, real action and huge contribution they make to our towns, villages and communities around the country. SuperValu is very proud to sponsor this SuperValu TidyTowns competition and of the fantastic support our retailers provide in helping make our local areas better places in which to live and work.”
Minister Humphreys also announced a special allocation of €1.5 million in funding to support the work of TidyTowns groups in their continued efforts to make their towns and villages better places to live, work and visit. Since 2017, the Department has provided €9.5 million in funding to support the important sustainability and other activities of these groups.
The Minister concluded:
“The focus on sustainability and biodiversity are particularly impressive and important for all of us. The funding from my Department will help Groups continue with their inspirational efforts to transform their communities and the local environment.”
The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu who have sponsored the competition since 1991.