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Tidy Towns missed six town applications due to apparent email issues

The email entries were not received by the Department of Community and Rural Development.

Westport, winners of Ireland's tidiest large town 2019.
Westport, winners of Ireland's tidiest large town 2019.
Image: Naoise Culhane

THE APPLICATIONS OF six towns were not included in this year’s Tidy Towns competition because they weren’t received by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The department said its IT unit has confirmed that the email applications sent by six towns “never reached the servers” after investigating the incident. 

“Based on this advice, the department believes the issue is confined to the sender’s email,” the department said in a statement. 

The towns will now have another chance to be judged and any prizes awarded will be presented at the regional awards ceremonies held later this year.

Each group has “welcomed this approach”, according to the department. 

The six towns not included in Tidy Towns considerations were:

  • Greystones, Co Wicklow
  • Bray, Co Wicklow
  • Mountrath, Co Laois
  • Ballinamuck, Co Longford
  • Ballyorgan, Co Limerick 
  • Glenroe, Co Limerick

Glaslough, Co Monaghan won Ireland’s tidiest village on 30 September at the ceremony which took place last month. Blackrock, Co Louth won Ireland’s tidiest small town and Westport in Co Mayo won Ireland’s tidiest large town.  

Chairperson of Greystones Tidy Towns committee Marie McCooey told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today that the committee was disappointed when they weren’t included in the awards announced last month. 

“We were expecting an invitiation [to the ceremony] because we got our first bronze medal last year,” said McCooey. “We were really hoping we would be invited again.”

“So I’m sitting there while the competition is on and I get online and see ‘oh my gosh, there’s no sign of Greystones’. And I look at my neighbour and there’s no sign of Bray either,” she said. 

McCooey said the committee was told the next day that their entry had not been received. 

The chairperson said she wasn’t worried about any of the flowers or plants being in worse condition than they would be when towns are usually judged earlier this year because “Greystones always looks great”.   

The adjudicators will be mindful of the fact that they are assessing the towns in October, rather than during the summer months, the Department of Rural and Community Development said. 

None of the towns affected have allegedly said they were notified about their email application not being received by the department. If any of the towns receive a Tidy Towns prize or honour in the coming months, it will not impact the results already announced. 

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