Kilkenny city is named Ireland’s tidiest town

Clonegal in Co Carlow, Kilrush and Westport win in other categories

Kilkenny Castle taken from St John’s Bridge. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan/The Irish Times

After putting on a thrilling display in the All Ireland hurling final yesterday, Kilkenny has another reason to feel proud today.

It has been named Ireland’s tidiest town after beating 849 other contenders to the title.

The announcement that the “marble city” had triumphed was greeted by sustained cheering at today’s awards ceremony at The Helix in Dublin.

Clonegal in Co Carlow took the award for Ireland's tidiest village with Kilrush, Co Clare winning the award for the tidiest small town and Westport, Co Mayo scooping the honour for the largest tidiest town.

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Kilkenny city, which last won the overall prize in 1985, was also declared the country’s tidiest large urban centre.

The Tidy Towns competition has been sponsored for the last 23 years by SuperValu supermarkets and numbers of entries exceeded 800 each year for the last four years.

The overall winner receives a cash prize of €10,000 and a trophy with €5,000 going to the winners in each category.

Regional winners receive €2000.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, who presented the prizes at the award ceremony in The Helix, said he was very impressed by the enthusiasm shown by all involved.

“This is a fantastic achievement for Kilkenny; a really worthy winner. It is 1985 since Kilkenny last won the overall prize but they have been consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local and regional level. So my congratulations to Kilkenny and all of the other deserving prize-winners announced today,” he said.

He added that he was delighted that the competition continues to generate great interest after 56 years.

“The results of the entrants’ efforts are obvious in the attractive, well cared-for towns and villages we see throughout the country. It is clear that working together and getting things done increases peoples’ pride in where they live and helps to build vibrant communities.”

Moynalty, Co Meath won the overall title of Ireland's tidiest town last year.

Interest in the competition has been consistently high in recent times with the number of entries exceeding 800 each year for the last four years.

The competition is organised by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and sponsored by SuperValu.

Full details of all this year's winners are available here.