Above: Members of the Clonakilty Tidy Towns in costume for the President’s visit.
With the clocks gone forward it’s off for another season of cleaning, brushing, weeding and watering for members of Clonakilty Tidy Towns Committee who recently held their AGM. Joint Chairpersons Mike Deasy and Catherine O’Connor extended a welcome to all and the latter mentioned some of the many highlights of the last year. She expressed her thanks to all who help out in any way, including the gallant volunteers; Town Council indoor and outdoor staff; FÁS supervisor and trainees and TÚS workers and the support of the businesses and residents who combine to make the Clonakilty Tidy Towns effort one to be envied. There was praise too for the ongoing good work being undertaken in the broader community, in particular the success of schools in attaining Green Flags. She also thanked the staff at PGI who assisted the Tidy Towns campaign as part of their community involvement.
All were very proud of May 5, 2013 when President and Mrs. Higgins visited Clonakilty. The Tidy Towns volunteers were out from 8am that morning helping to make the town look good and they dressed up in period costumes for the visit itself.
Catherine said that they were happy overall with the marks in the 2013 competition, which saw Clonakilty gaining an extra two valuable points – up to 311.
Secretary and President Noreen Minihan gave a blow-by-blow account of the activities – both the hard work and social of the group since the last AGM. She recalled the difficulties, as the town was repaired after the floods of the previous year; the Litter Patrol children; Foróige involvement; anti dog fouling initiative and the sterling work undertaken by TT volunteers and workers in the town council. The “Meitheal” Group undertook a lot of heavy work and she praised the TY students at Sacred Heart Secondary School for their involvement. With the best summer weatherwise in years, Mike Deasy used river water for plants rather than scarce mains water. Noreen recounted the group’s entries in the two St. Patrick’s Day Parades and the fun at the various social events, including the closing ceremony on last New Years Eve to mark the end of the Clon 400 celebratory year.
Treasurer Cathy McCarthy reported on a very healthy bottom line, but there were concerns for the future given the impending abolition of the Town Council which has always provided generous financial and practical assistance – a theme that was raised several times during the AGM.
The election of officers saw most of last year’s officer being returned unopposed- President: Noreen Minihan; Joint Chairpersons Mike Deasy and Catherine O’ Connor; Vice Chair Jimmy O’ Regan; Secretary Noreen Minihan; Treasurer Cathy McCarthy; PRO Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin and the Social Committee were returned in block.
Many concerns were raised in the general discussions that followed about the support that may be forthcoming from the County Council post abolition of the Town Council in May. It was felt that the new regime needed to be contacted as soon as elections were over to press for the continuation of the spirit of support and co-operation that the town council always gave.
Many other issues were also mentioned with the chair pointing out that with the competition getting keener each year, there will be a new marking system this year. More emphasis is being placed on sustainability and nature and the Tidy Towns group would have to adjust to the new situation maximise points. Never ones to rest on their laurels, the work will start immediately this weekend with a clean up of approach roads on Saturday.
And cleanups also take place on Tuesday evenings also during the season. Assemble at Town Council yard at 7.30pm.
The group also place signs in areas to be cleaned in the lead up to their arrival as a means of informing residents of the clean up in their patch and welcome them to participate.