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Tidy Towns competition cancelled due to the Covid-19 emergency

The competition has been running since 1958.

Glaslough in Co Monaghan was the winner of the 2019 competition.
Glaslough in Co Monaghan was the winner of the 2019 competition.
Image: Tidy Towns, Twitter

THE ANNUAL TIDY Towns competition has become the latest casualty of Covid-19, as this year’s competition will not go ahead as planned.

The competition was due to be launched towards the end of March but was deferred by almost a month as the public health crisis escalated. 

It has emerged this afternoon that the event will not go ahead as planned this year.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring said it is not possible at this time for communities to work on Tidy Towns projects. 

“I know that many TidyTowns Committees have been wondering if the competition will proceed this year and I believe it is important to provide certainty to all of the Committees around the country at this stage,” he said.  

“For me, the health and welfare of the volunteers on the TidyTowns Committees is paramount. Given the current restrictions around public gatherings, travel, and adherence to social distancing, it would not be appropriate to ask voluntary groups to work on TidyTowns projects in their communities at this time.

“I have therefore decided that the TidyTowns competition will not go ahead this year.”

Ring said his department will examine other ways involving social media to encourage the spirit of the Tidy Towns ethos. 

The competition, which recognises the work of local communities under a number of categories, has been running since 1958. 

Last year, Glaslough in Co Monaghan was announced as the overall 2019 winner of the competition in which there were 918 entries. The Monaghan town also won the top prize in 1978.

The announcement comes as the Government also announced that licenced events of more than 5,000 people, such as concerts and festivals, will not go be allowed to go ahead until September at the earliest. 

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