Community involvement is key to Tidy Towns success in 2011

Families and community groups will be the key factor in Cahir improving its score in the national Tidy Towns competition this summer, according to the hard working chairman of the local organisation.

Families and community groups will be the key factor in Cahir improving its score in the national Tidy Towns competition this summer, according to the hard working chairman of the local organisation.

Andy Moloney, who spearheads the local group, told The Nationalist this week that the Tidy Towns adjudicators might have 'caught them on the op' last summer, with their early judging, but the town will be ready and looking better than ever come June.

The main new aspect of the town's three year plan for this year will be the setting in place of a biodiversity plan.

Last year the Tidy Towns group introduced ducks to the Doctor's River and not only have they thrived but have become a real feature of the town, and a special favourite with local children. "The whole town has bought in to the ducks. The amount of people feeding the ducks is great," Mr Moloney praised locals. "They are really a feature of the town now and every kid wants to go down there and feed the ducks."

This year's biodiversity plan aims to see an increase of wildlife on the river and increased vegetation and wildflowers, which will attract insects and wildlife to the Doctors River and the Inch Field.

Mr Moloney says he hopes to get the local schools involved as well.

"We will have family days where they will come in and plant wildflower seeds. We're planning these in conjunction with the Heritage Council," Mr Moloney said.

The Tidy Towns group have also spoken to Inland Fisheries Ireland for advice on the upkeep of the river and what's best for it.

"We will have a great bit of colour and community involvement, people are looking for things to do in their communities, " he looked forward to the coming year.

In quantifiable terms, Cahir is aiming for a score of 280 in this year's Tidy Towns compeittion. Last year was the first year of a three-year plan, drawn up by consultant Frank Donaldson, and Cahir increased its score from 212 to 267.

"We have no urban council in Cahir, it's all down to voluntary people getting their hands dirty. We work well with the county council," Mr Moloney said of this year's success. "Areas that were touched last year we will go back and finish this year."

He went on to say that one of the main problems that now needs to be tackled in Cahir is dog fouling. "Owners are supposed to clean up after thier dogs, it's the law," Mr Moloney reminded people.

"We hope to maintain our standards next year, we are not sitting on our laurels. We took a break after our awards night in November, which was a lovely night out. We have volunteers who pick litter every Sunday morning and Wednesday night and those people will be back in action again in January or February."

Mr Moloney has also scheduled a meeting with County Council Director of Services for the Cahir area, Sinead Carr, for early in the new year, to discuss enhancing the town. One of his main requests will be a litter/traffic warden for the town.

The first meeting of Cahir Tidy Towns for 2011 will take place in the Shamrock Lounge on Wednesday, January 12. Everyone is welcome to attend, or if you would like to get involved contact Andy Moloney on (086)3609110.