Cookstown up for Ireland prize

COOKSTOWN is up for a top all- Ireland environmental award.

It is one of five towns in Northern Ireland competing with other towns in the Republic of Ireland for the prestigious Best Kept Town Award.

The five finalists all won categories in the North’s SuperValu Best Kept Awards last year for excellence in their environmental work, including litter and graffiti control projects, planting schemes, floral displays and recycling initiatives.

They go forward with nine winning towns from the southern scheme, Tidy Towns, to take part in the Ireland’s Best Kept Town Awards.

Ireland’s Best Kept Town competition is a collaboration between the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and the South’s Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The Awards are sponsored by independent retail group SuperValu.

Five awards will be presented at the June 21 ceremony – Ireland’s Best Kept Large Urban Centre, Large Town, Small Town, Village and the overall winner, which is chosen from the three category winners.

In 2009 the Co Down seaside town of Newcastle was pronounced Ireland’s Best Kept Town after a major redevelopment of the town and its promenade. The village of Broughshane in Co Antrim won the Small Town category of the awards last year and Coleraine took the Large Urban Centre award. Killarney was the overall winner and named Ireland’s Best Kept Town for 2010.

Doreen Muskett MBE, President of NIAC, which organises the SuperValu Best Kept Awards in Northern Ireland, commented; “Ireland’s Best Kept Town Awards bring together the winners from the two schemes North and South of the border and it’s a very competitive event.”

“Our five towns have already won Northern Ireland SuperValu Best Kept Awards, and it would be a great cause for celebration if they won titles in the all-Ireland competition. We were delighted when Broughshane and Coleraine won awards in 2010.”

“We wish Cookstown and the other finalists the best of luck for the awards.”

Towns in the Republic of Ireland competing for the awards include Moynalty, Co Meath; Stradbally, Co Waterford; Tallanstown, Co Louth; Kinsale, Co Cork; Lismore, Co Waterford; Tullamore, Co Offaly; Trim, Co Meath; Malahide, Co Dublin and Waterford City.

SuperValu Marketing Manager, Briege McGinty added; “SuperValu is proud to sponsor the Ireland’s Best Kept Town Awards and we hope that the five towns in Northern Ireland do well in the all-Ireland competition..”

The County Down towns of Moira and Scarva, Cookstown Co Tyrone, Coleraine Co Londonderry and Ahoghill in Co Antrim will compete for an Ireland’s Best Kept Town Award at a ceremony to be held in Dublin later this month.