Oaks for Tidy Towns winners in honour of 1916 signatories

All winning towns to get seven Sessile Oaks next year as part of 1916 commemorations

Tallanstown,  Co Louth - a former winner of the  Tidy Towns competition. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Tallanstown, Co Louth - a former winner of the Tidy Towns competition. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

 

All of the Tidy Towns winners since the competition’s inception in 1958 will receive seven oak trees in remembrance of the seven signatories of the Proclamation.

The initiative, which is part of the Government’s 1916 commemorations, will feature in just over 40 towns, as some places such as Glenties, Co Donegal, Rathvilly, Co Limerick and Virginia, Co Cavan have won the competition more than once.

Sessile Oaks have been chosen as they are national symbols.

Launching the plan at the National Ploughing Championships, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said the trees will serve as a link between “our country’s chequered past and our hopes for the future”.

‘Celebration of volunteerism’

He added: “What better way to pay homage to the seven signatories of the Proclamation (all volunteers themselves) than by marking 1916 with a celebration of volunteerism in recognising the commitment of voluntary Tidy Towns committees.”

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys said the tree-planting initiative will leave a legacy in communities to remind them of the 1916 centenary commemorations.

The Tidy Towns unit of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will be in contact with each winning location to make arrangements for the tree-planting which will commence next year.