A total of 296 marks was achieved by Templemore Tidy Towns in this year’s national competition leaving us 43 marks behind the overall winner Listowel, so much more needs to be done to make further progress in this competition.
There were many favourable comments from the adjudicator who said that: "The Town Square is one of the finest I have seen in Ireland. The Town Hall looked very well with its clock high up on the wall and army guns displayed on the ground. This is an area of much interest and the visitor can spend quite a bit of time reading the signs/plaques and taking in the views. Trees planted in the Square help to soften the hard impact of car parking".
Murphy's Pharmacy, Templemore Arms Hotel with a nice combination of natural stone brick and smooth rendered wall, Tom Maher's Inn and Mockler's Pharmacy were much admired.
The report continued: "Templemore Credit Union also looked well and our compliments to Eurospar for not filling the window with posters - it is nicer to see into the shop. We loved the heritage plaques at the Town Hall, Railway Station, Sacred Heart Church, St Mary's Church, Tigh Mhuire, and the Black Castle. They are of a very high standard and having a relief of the building on the plaque adds to its charm.
St. Mary's Church of Ireland set in a landscape of mature trees and enclosed with a limestone plinth wall with railings on top is delightful".
Complimentary remarks were also made about St. Mary's N.S., St. Joseph's N.S., Sacred Heart Church - a beautifully dressed limestone building, Our Lady's Secondary School - in a spacious site with admirable landscape treatment, business premises in the enterprise centre, Taylormade and Garda College.
The ICA garden was commended with the lovely display of roses and its central Weeping Ash feature. Control of the weeds by mulch rather than spraying was in keeping with the environment.
"We admired the flower boxes on the railings at the entrance to the Town Park. The Town Park is a great facility and the garden on the former swimming pool site, enclosed with beech hedging and trees is a pleasant feature.
Well done on the signs at the lake with information on the Heritage Trail and Eco-Lake project and the restoration work on the old archway".
Sustainability: The value and importance of sustainability and waste reduction is reflected in the amount of marks now allocated in this category. Templemore gained 18 out of a possible 50 which calls for much more serious effort from the community. The library is a very useful facility for communicating this information.
On-going efforts include donations to the local charity shop; re-cycling of books through the local Railway Station for use by travellers on the train; composting; primary schools book rental schemes; return of wire hangers to dry cleaners, re-use of egg boxes, electrical recycling, reduction of water usage and many projects in the schools in the Green Flag programmes.
Litter: The good example by Taylormade who supported their staff helping in clean-ups was noted. In this category Templemore scored 47 points out of a possible 90!! Some local schools also had an important input in this activity. Litter was not that much in evidence on judging day but it should be noted that weeds along kerbsides, moss etc. are also considered in this category. Empty premises, as in many rural towns, is now becoming a challenge for tidy towns activists.
Residential areas: Marian Road was praised for its well maintained houses and front gardens as also were the front gardens in Oakdale.
Approach roads: "The trees on Bradley's Row make a great statement. That and Church Avenue are good examples of street tree planting. Fahy and Ryan, Ssanyong cars, VHI, Amber service station all looked well. We were pleased to see the vegetation on the side of the Railway Road has been let grow.
While some people may be uncomfortable with what they feel is a lack of maintenance, it is in fact a better environmental approach".
Concluding remarks: "Well done on the many improvements undertaken in the town and surrounds. Keep up the good work".
Suggestions from Adjudicator: Town Square: "Go a step further and extend the tree planting. For example, a line of trees beside the footpath on the western end would add impact. It may entail reducing the number of car spaces but not significantly in our view. Trees are the most essential element of the landscape and it is important that you focus on planting for future generations". Tree planting in Church St. was also suggested.
The supporting stakes on trees in the town square could now be removed before they cause damage to tree stems as they are no longer needed.
With reference to tree-lined Oakdale Road it was stated that "old trees in the road margin are pruned severely near the estate entrance: we prefer the trees at the end of the road because they have not been pruned".
Woodville Crescent houses are well maintained but there is very little planting in gardens or on the open space. Hedges would make a significant difference if planted in gardens.
With regard to Nature and Biodiversity it was suggested that perhaps children would become involved in listing plants and animals to be found in the natural environment and recognise their significance (native, protected or alien invasive) and could be a very useful project for local schools.
Finally the Templemore Tidy Towns committee extend their sincere gratitude to all the volunteers who turned up on the Monday work evenings, those who willingly cared for the floral displays in the town square, and the staff of the Municipal District Council for their co-operation throughout the year.
Full report can be found on www.tidytowns.ie