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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019

'Our members range from 12 to 82': How a small Louth village came together for SuperValu TidyTowns

The tiny village of Grange on the Cooley Peninsula has been transformed in recent years.

Source: SuperValuIreland/YouTube

AS YOU DRIVE OUT towards the beautiful Cooley peninsula in Louth, there’s a very small village that contains a church, a pub, a shop and a lot of bright, colourful flowers. Off the main road, there’s a wonderful pond area where sheep gather by the water’s edge.

A few years ago, this area was ‘a total wilderness’. These days, families flock to have picnics and spend time among the wildlife here, dogs swim in the water and locals cast their fishing rods to ‘catch and release’.

grange2 Locals fish at the pond area in Grange Source: Conor Lenehan

For this, you can thank a small but powerful organisation called Grange Residents Association, who look after SuperValu TidyTowns in the village.

Grange is famous for producing the Irish rugby team’s Kearney brothers (their family’s agricultural shop is right across from the town’s iconic bull, seen in the video above) and having one of the youngest SuperValu TidyTowns committee members in the country:

“Members of our committee range from 12 to 82. We meet once a month and have a cup of tea and discuss things about the area,” says Chairperson of Grange SuperValu TidyTowns, Seamus Savage.

Accompanying her dad to one of their meetings, the committee were so impressed with twelve-year-old Elizabeth Gillen that they asked her to join.

grange3 Elizabeth Gillen is one of the country's youngest SuperValu TidyTowns committee members Source: Conor Lenehan

“It’s a very small community and it’s really important that we try to make it a really good community,” shares Elizabeth.

For her father and fellow committee member David, it’s an essential aspect of SuperValu TidyTowns: “It’s important to get the kids involved. It helps the kids get a sense of what the community is about.”

grange1 Tending to the flowerbeds at Bush Source: Conor Lenehan

Liaising with her primary school, his daughter Elizabeth helps promote ecological well-being, by organising talks about things like pollination.

For Grange SuperValu TidyTowns, it’s not all about accolades, it’s about cultivating community pride, according to Seamus:

We don’t do this for an award. We do it for pride in our community, for the environment and for giving something back to the locality from which we came.

This year, SuperValu celebrates its 28th year as sponsor of SuperValu TidyTowns. SuperValu is at the heart of local communities all over Ireland and the competition is Ireland’s leading community initiative. Hear more stories from SuperValu TidyTowns communities here

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