Buncrana continues to lead the way for Inishowen in the national SuperValu Tidy Towns competition. For the first time can now officially be described as Donegal’s tidiest town.
Buncrana added a whopping 15 points to their overall score, winning a seventh consecutive gold medal and moving ahead of Letterkenny to finish on 357 points, the highest total amongst the 39 towns and villages across Donegal who entered the 2022 Tidy Towns competition.
Buncrana Tidy Town Initiative chairman Willie McKinney was elated at the result.
“To go on and win the national title, you have to get out of your county first, and we’ve done that now.
“We’re ahead of Letterkenny by two points and we’re really chuffed about that.
“I think we are a town lying in wait to hopefully win the overall award soon,” he added.
Towns and villages are judged across eight categories, with Buncrana best in Inishowen in community involvement, streetscape, green spaces and in nature and diversity.
This year’s competition was the first in three years where judges actually got to visit towns. The 2020 competition was suspended, and in 2021 judging was carried out based on submissions made by tidy towns groups.
The sense of relief in the judges reports at being able to visit towns and villages is palpable from their reports.
At 338 points, two times national award winner Malin added a further nine points to their 2021 tally, and continues to be tops locally with the approach roads making an impression on competition judges.
Malin retained its place atop Category A, a section including eight small villages in Donegal.
Moville has made significant strides in recent years, and on 335 points is breathing down the neck of Malin in third place in Inishowen.
It has Inishowen’s best score for residential streets and housing areas, and shared top spot with Buncrana for streetscape and public places on its way to winning a second successive bronze medal.
Ballyliffin broke through the 300 points mark in 2018, and has continued to strongly improve its score. The village has now reached 328 points, up five on last year, with the judge praising the group for its links with the local scouts.
Culdaff added a fantastic 15 points to its score bringing its tally to 326 this year, fifth overall in Inishowen.
It has consistently been tops in Inishowen for its approach to sustainability and doing more for less, with the judge noting the concerted effort the village has made to address the concept of the circular economy.
Carndonagh too put in a strong showing this year, adding nine points to last year’s score to achieve 309 points. The judge remarked upon the lovely streetscapes and vernacular buildings that combine to make it such an attractive market town.
After missing out last year, Clonmany made a welcome return for 2022, with a new 14-strong committee of volunteers auguring well for the future. Clonmany achieves the best points of any place in Inishowen in its overall tidiness and litter control. Its score was 287, up nine points on its last entry in 2019.
Also re-joining after an absence since 2019 was Muff. It, like so many villages and towns, struggled to maintain its presence in the competition during the pandemic but has returned with renewed vigour, adding nine points to reach 232.
With a score of 253 points, Newtowncunningham posted an excellent improvement of 11 points on their 2021 score.
It’s Newtown’s eighth year in the competition, and its engagement with local schools, the scouts and sport clubs is praised by the judges.
See next week’s paper for more reporting on each of Inishowen’s nine entrants in the 2022 Tidy Towns.