Tralee Wins Gold Medal in European Tidy Towns

Entente Flora

Tralee has won a gold medal in the prestigious Entente Florale – the European Tidy Towns Competition and a second award – the European President’s award  for the best European community garden - for the Tobar Naofa Community Garden in Dean’s Lane.  The announcements were made in Százalombatta (pronounced schalombatta), a picturesque town 25 km south of Budapest in Hungary.  Nineteen towns and villages from eleven countries across Europe had made it to the final of the 2014 competition which is judged on the quality of the landscape, natural and built environment, parks and open spaces, education, ecology and the green agenda. Tralee reached the gold standard in each category.  The only other Irish entry – the village of Dromod from County Leitrim – was awarded a silver medal.

In accepting the award, the delighted Mayor of Tralee, Cllr. Jim Finucane, paid tribute to all those involved in the Tralee Tidy Towns effort – the members of the Towards a Better Tralee Committee, Tidy Tralee, the staff of the Tralee Municipal and Kerry County Councils and Tralee Chamber Alliance and all the communities, businesses and volunteers who greeted the international jury members during their visit to Tralee at the end of July.  He admitted that the gold award was something of a surprise given the very high standard of the other entrants. “We were hoping that we would get gold but would have been happy with silver such was the high standard of entries”.  The European Community Garden Award for Tobar Naofa was totally unexpected and the judges had singled out the work of supervisor Peter Colleran and his work on the organic fertiliser compost tea for special praise.

During their visit to Tralee in July the judges had visited Manor West Retail Park, Manor Village, Moyderwell Primary School, Tobar Naofa Community Garden and Day Care Centre, Presentation Convent Garden, St. John’s Church, Tralee Rose Garden and Town Park, Denny Street, The Mall and the Square, where an outdoor organic market and welcome event were hosted, Kerry County Museum, Siamsa Tire Theatre, Blennerville Windmill and Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre.

Tralee was selected to represent Ireland  in Entente Florale for its performance in the National Tidy Towns Competition. The town has doubled its mark over the past 8 years and secured its third gold medal in-a-row earlier this month in the large urban area category (for towns with a population over 20,000)

Mayor Finucane announced that Tralee had applied to host the European Prize Giving Ceremony of Entente Florale as part of the town’s Tralee 800 celebrations in 2016. This will bring 400 overseas visitors to the Kerry Capital.

The ceremony was also attended by: Johnnie Wall, Chairman, Towards a Better Tralee, Michael Scannell, former Tralee Town Clerk and head of the Kerry County Council’s Community & Enterprise Department, Joan O’Regan, Tralee Chamber Alliance and John Griffin, Tourism Officer, Kerry County Council.

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

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