Rathbarry is the overall winner of Ireland’s Best Kept Town competition, 2017. The results were announced on June 20 at an awards ceremony in Farmleigh House.
Rathbarry also won the Best Kept Village category. Kenmare, County Kerry won the Best Kept Small Town category, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh won the Best Kept Large Town category and Antrim Town won the Best Kept Large Urban Centre category.
Michael Ring, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development paid tribute to each of the category winners and also to the other towns that had been nominated for awards. The Minister congratulated all of the winners and nominees in this year’s competition, and in particular to Rathbarry for winning the overall title. He said; “Being nominated for these awards represents an achievement in itself, and is reward for your efforts in the SuperValu TidyTowns and the Best Kept competitions. After more than two decades, this all-Ireland competition continues to be a strong recognition of the great pride people have in their own communities, and how local volunteers take ownership of their surroundings and work to improve them, both for now and into the future. Close relationships forged here and in other North South community based initiatives, will benefit discussions in the European institutions with Britain as we prepare for their departure from the European Union. Well done, your communities are richer for your efforts and hard work, and I’m sure that you have great joy and pride in being here today.”
Doreen Muskett MBE, President of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, the body that organises the Best Kept Awards, said: “The competition is designed to reward those who take great pride in their communities, those who work tirelessly to make their surroundings a nicer place to work, live and play in.
“My sincere congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients. The panel of esteemed judges had a very difficult task in comparing and selecting the eventual winners, which is testament to the stunning towns and villages we are lucky enough to have here. I am delighted that Enniskillen and Antrim together have been recognised amongst Ireland’s most beautiful spots.”