Roscrea Tidy Towns Committee - Time For Reflection

Was it a good year for all the workers who gave so much of their time so generously working in the interest of our town ? Will Roscrea get the result it had hoped for ?

Was it a good year for all the workers who gave so much of their time so generously working in the interest of our town ? Will Roscrea get the result it had hoped for ?

Would you like to have seen more done to clean up, and tidy up the approach roads, streets, and back areas of our town ? Or could you have done more ? There is plenty of time yet before the Tiobrad Álainn judging takes place which is ongoing throughout the Summer into Autumn.

Are there sufficient floral displays on our approach roads to create a greater impact as one approaches the town to impress our visitors ? Would you like to sponsor a container of flowers for the paved areas on the Approach Roads ?

Is signage up to the standard of a Heritage Town ? Is it impressive ? Have we a big Fáilte sign printed in gold with a Roscrea emblem on it as we approach the town ?

Are the approach roads mowed nice and neat with a metre verge on both sides of the road with an avenue of trees leading into the town ? If you would like to see more done please come out and help, or make a contribution to Tidy Towns funds so they can buy trees and pay to get the work done.

Are our Residential Areas kept up to a high standard, grass mowed, litter picked, stakes removed from trees and weeds removed from shrub and flower beds ? If not, get a few together and spend an evening weeding and tidying ;

As one drives through Gantly Road to see all the unkept back yards of premises, with weeds, grass, ragworth etc. and all so uncared for looking, they wonder if anyone owns them ? Would someone who owns property here take the initiative to get the owners together and work to upgrade and enhance them before next year. “Roads, Streets and Back Areas” are a major problem in Roscrea, and need to be improved. So much can be done to give a more cared for effect by removing weeds, picking litter, and placing containers of shrubs and flowers at the entrance, along the lane way or link road.

Are Car Parks maintained as one would expect if privately owned ? Are stakes removed from trees, or are the stakes and ties cutting into the trees as we have seen in some of our car parks ? Is the litter picked daily or even weekly ? Are the weeds such as thistles, ragworth, long grass, binder weed, dandelions etc. growing through shrubs, or are they removed from shrub beds and landscaped areas ? Are broken and dead trees removed and replanted ?

Take Aways, Publican’s premises, and Bookmakers premises – are they taking responsibility for the litter strewn outside their doors, on the footpaths, and on the streets ? So much litter from those sources to include cartons, bags, cigarette butts, cigarette boxes, and the dockets, and small coloured pens strewn along the streets and footpaths everywhere. In the interest of Waste Minimisation would students consider collecting them and making them available in school for other students to use, otherwise its time for people to realise all of the above adds to the litter and untidiness of the streets and footpaths, and if they use them they should bring them home with them.

Are our Restaurants and Public Houses being presented clean, tidy, and enhanced with flowers as Tourists and visitors expect ? Are there cigarette butts and weeds outside the doors to greet them ? Do we need to bring the Brennan Bros. to Roscrea to teach us how to present our premises and meet and exceed expectations ?

Are adjoining yards to premises/Businesses kept clean, tidy and with floral displays as one would see in other towns around the country.

Tidy Towns observers would say “NO” to most of the above questions, and feel Roscrea has a long way to go to reach the standard set in towns like Ennis and Cashel (both of which are well worth a visit this year). In Ennis, all premises on the Main Streets of the town have hanging baskets, and window boxes on every building in the street which makes for a very pleasant and attractive town. The Hanging Baskets along the streets look most impressive with trailing begonias. All side streets, and link roads plus approach roads have floral displays for miles into the town, so the impact that is missing on approaches to Roscrea, is well and truly to be seen as one approaches Ennis. Much of the same can be said for Cashel, where walls on approach roads have hanging baskets, floral displays on the green areas, and all the paved areas, and amazing colour all the way into the centre of town. Birdhill, and Tuamgraney are local villages well worth a visit also, to take note of the standard we would like Roscrea to rise to.

When can Roscrea Tidy Towns Committee hope for this kind of support and standard. All the work should not be left to a few, as it stretches too far, and there are not sufficient people coming out to help. Is there a way of motivating people in Roscrea to rise to this challenge like in other towns, in preparation for next year ? At the moment Roscrea Tidy Towns Committee need up to one hundred volunteers to try and get through all the work they would like to do to bring Roscrea up to the standard of Westport, Killarney, Ennis, Lismore and other winning towns.

It is time to resurrect the Residents Associations, and Street groups again, so that the residents take pride in their street or area, and take on the responsibility for cleaning, tidying, and maintenance of their estates, so that Tidy Towns and others can concentrate on improving the approach roads to the town and doing other necessary work. If you are active on your street, or Residential Area, or Estate, please bring a few together, and organise a group to work together in the interest of “Pride” in our town, and its people. There are so many people unemployed, and have little to do, who would benefit from being involved if they got the encouragement, and if you are one of those, please take the initiative, and commence a group, or join a group already there such as the Tidy Towns Committee, who will give you direction and help if required. We are now calling on Residents living in the following Residential Areas, - Gleann Ghlas, Ashbury, Sheehane, Chapel Lane, Kennedy Park, Rossmore and Rosslands, Ayr Hill Court, Cluan Árd, The Grange, Hillside, Glencarrick, Tullaskeagh, Whitethorn, etc. to set up their own Resident’s Associations to work together in the interest of the upkeep of their estate, - Assumption Park have given the lead here for many years, and we compliment all of them for the pride they take, and have continued to do so ;

There are parts of Roscrea that stand out, and the residents of same should be commended for their support and pride of place, ie, Rosemary Square, lower Limerick Street, Assumption Park, So many houses along the Main Road as one passes Kennedy Park with window boxes and hanging baskets, also Brophy Terrace (great pride in this area) the Limerick road, (so many amazing gardens of colour and floral displays) Ivy Nook – as one goes from Lourdes Road towards the Dublin Road they cannot but see the amount of work put in here by the owner and the enormous display of planting done this year and which would be so eye catching if we only had the sun shining) Some nice displays on Main Street, Green Street, and Castle Street also which we admire and acknowledge. Tidy Towns workers appreciate all the support they can get, as it is impossible for them to cover all of the town from approach roads into the centre, and have to depend on the support and generosity of all residents and local Businesses.

More on this report from the Tidy Towns in next week’s Tipperary Star.

Many premises have already been painted and brightened up, however we have some remaining that have been power washed for months and are still there with flaked paint on walls. If there is something you can do to improve Roscrea’s mark in “overall appearance”, or the “Built Environment” please have it done in the next two weeks, before the second adjudication takes place (if we are lucky enough). We also have the Tiobrad Álainn adjudicators visiting the town over the next couple of months, so by working together we can showcase our town in the best light.

If you can tidy a back entrance, yard, link road, or back street, please do it as soon as possible, remove weeds, litter, bollards, posters, advertising signage, and anything you see that detracts from our mark under “Tidiness” and add a few floral displays where possible. It is never too late, and they will be there for next year.

Work for next year starts now, and Tidy Towns people are already working towards their Autumn programme, day and night as weather permits, and also continuing to work every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning – meeting in Rosemary Square at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evenings, and Saturday mornings at 10 am. Members are being very vigilant where litter, posters, advertising boards, coloured pens, cigarette butts etc. are to be seen, and removing as much as possible from the streets and footpaths.

This year Roscrea Tidy Towns Committee acknowledge support and contributions made as follows:

The flowers and maintenance of the Hanging baskets in Main Street has kindly been sponsored by Brian in Super Valu, and his staff.

Michael Tiernan has paved the footpath from Church Street down to the plaza at Tesco, and added four new containers with trees and box hedging. Four trees planted by him on the green area opposite are also welcomed.

Pierce Finn of Maddens Pharmacy has added two lovely three tier planters at the rear of his premises as one walks from Tesco, they are very prominent, and add greatly to the colour and attractiveness of this area.

David Leahy and Transition year students of Coláiste Phobal have created the masterpiece displayed on the wall of the outdoor toilet (up from the roundabout at Tesco) which has been made of used cans – this project has been entered for “The Cans” Award in the Tidy Towns competition, and we wish them the best of luck.

The Scouts leaders and many of their troupes to include cubs have given enormous support this year to the workers, through litter picks, planting of the river, planting a tree in Rosemary Square, and making a very generous donation from their funds towards planting of the river banks (before the flooding took away many of our new water plants).

Doherty Hardware have kindly sponsored paint for F.Á.S. Employees to undertake painting of barriers, gates, doors, railings, etc. in need of painting along the approach roads and in various places around the town.

Tidy Towns people are greatly indebted to Paddy Reidy, and all his workers on the Community Employment Scheme for all their support to include litter picking, strimming, painting, and going here there and everywhere to attend to problem areas, to keep the work done on the various streets and approach roads.

The Council Engineer has also been of tremendous help in removing up to forty redundant posts, and upgrading many of the broken and derelict ones. Various other projects have been done by him in the interest of tidiness, and improvements to footpaths are presently underway, but his list is endless, and we acknowledge all his support to date, and await much more.

The Lions Club sponsored tree planting on the Templemore Road much of which will need to be done again, as trees appear to have died, possibly due to the dry weather at the time.

The Tidy Towns Committee also acknowledge the generous contribution made by Roscrea Credit Union to their planting fund.

Members now await and look forward to some work by the Art students, Aisling, Sinéad, Serena, and Jack who are doing murals on walls and timber work around the town when weather allows them.

It would be remiss of me at this point not to thank the Chamber of Commerce, and especially Brian King, for all their support and encouragement over the past few months through the Press and at local level. Without this support it would be very difficult for a few people to continue putting in the hours they do, both day and night, without someone taking the time to notice, and give them the recognition they deserve. The challenge is there for all of us to work as a team, take pride in our town, and bring Roscrea to the standard we would all like to see.

The Committee also acknowledge and appreciate any support you have given them to date such as floral displays, printing of circulars, photocopying, replacement of gates, building of walls, sponsorship of stone at the Water Hole, cleaning of windows and doors, cleaning of car parks, removal of rubble, removing faded flags and strings of bunting etc. and painting your premises.

All the Volunteers thank you for your generous support to their street collection, and will welcome donations to meet the cost of tree planting in the Autumn, levelling of the Limerick and Templemore approach roads into town, improvements to the roundabouts so more all year round colour is added, the development of a “Tree Way around Roscrea”, “A River Walk”, and also a “Nature Trail”, so a busy year is planned, and the only obstacle at the moment is human and financial resources. (If you can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to come out, join a work group, and do your bit for your town). If not work quietly on your own road, pick up the bottles, cartons etc. as you see them and in doing that you will encourage others. Strim or mow the sides of an unkept roadside, Remove weeds as you see them, or give a rusted gate or dirty wall a new coat of paint. Lastly, keep the dog litter off the roads, streets and green areas of our town.

Anyone who is willing to help out will be very welcome, otherwise we would ask you to make a contribution to Tidy Towns Funds, so their Work Programme can be progressed and members continue to work in the interest of a “More Beautiful and attractive Roscrea”.

Last but not least a “BIG THANK YOU” to Jo Jo, and Barney who do the street cleaning for all of us at the weekends, and who arise early, while many of us are not long in our beds. They are up and out on the streets collecting the cigarette butts, and the litter which should be put in the bins and the receptacles provided, and if so we would have no need for cleaning. How do we rise to this challenge ? - Provide smoking areas at the rear of Publicans, and Bookmakers premises so they are not smoking on the footpath, or outside the front door. Keep the receptacles emptied, or provide a bucket of sand outside the door to collect them.

The four categories Roscrea people now need to concentrate on are “Litter”, “Tidiness”, “Wildlife and Natural Amenities”, and “ROADS, STREETS, AND BACK AREAS” these are the four categories we have the least mark in, so if you can improve or add to our mark under any of the above, we would very much welcome it.

Contacts if you would like to join a work team and help with the 2013 Work Programme are :

Denis Ryan – Chairperson, 0876775382.

Rose Crofton – Treasurer. 0872102776

Steve Crofton - Secretary. 0876993469

Mary Conroy Co-Ordinator of work programme. 0863476431

Committee Members : Mary Heffernan, Sean Delaney, Mary Buckley, John

Buckley, John Byrne, Angela O’Dwyer, Ginterus and Daniel. Jo Jo Cunningham, Barney Loughnane, Dick Conroy, Eamon Phelan, Oliver Egan, Ray Ryan. Eileen Doherty.