Tidy Towns judges gave top marks to Birdhill - but what did they say about your town or village?
Tipperary village Birdhill won the overall National Tidy Towns award this week but towns and villages throughout the county deserve special praise for their efforts in this hugely popular competition.
The adjudicators had positive things to say about all Tipperary entrant and below we carry some of their thoughts on towns and villages in the south of the county.
Read on to see what they said about your home place.
We loved the 17th-century Main Guard and it is great to see that this structure is in great condition and in active use as a tourist attraction. The Westgate serves as an excellent reminder that Clonmel was a walled town and the dominant Courthouse is significant due to the major historical events that it has witnessed. Numerous other historical buildings stood out. The Franciscan Friary is a magnificent structure while St Mary's Church in Irishtown has all the hallmarks of a fine cathedral. We had to settle for a look at the grounds of St Annes Church, the Friends Graveyard and City walls through the railings from Bolton Street as the gates were locked when we called but we are determined to return at a later date.
One of the most enjoyable aspects about visiting Clonmel is discovering areas and buildings that heretofore we were not aware of. We loved Dr Croke Place with its wonderfully intact and well maintained terrace of two storey terraced Georgian buildings and we think it is unlikely that a better example can be found anywhere else in the County. The end of terrace building is particularly impressive here with its natural slate cladding. The three storey versions of this dwellings on Anglesea Street also impressed (one of which accommodated Heslin Ryan solicitors). We loved the Silversprings House on St Patrick's Road and we marvelled at the lovely natural stone buildings that accommodated part of the hospital on Western Road. It is also necessary to mention the impressive monuments and sculptures that can be found with the statue of the great Frank Patterson having pride of place in Mick Delahunty Square and we admired the monument to theManchester Martyrs on the Quay. The standard of presentation of business premises in the town is exceptionallyhigh for the most part with many high quality shopfronts seen during our visit. While it is difficult to select a few examples, a small number stood out.
The Main Guard, Clonmel
On Gladstone Street, Fennessys and Mulcahys looked well and it is hoped that lovely Post Office Building will find a productive reuse soon. Like the adjudicator in 2016, we were very disappointed to see the wonderful D. W. Park property in poor condition and we hope that the owner and District Council can complete the necessary restoration and conservation works on this shopfront. Parnell Street looked well and we were impressed by the newly refurbished building at the junction with Nelson Street, while Morans, the Bank of Ireland, Stitches, O’Keeffes and Clintons looked very well. It is noted that the town hall is vacant and we await a new productive use for this fine building. Mitchel Street is hugely impressive and it aided by the lovely shopfronts of Bennigans, Anne Fitzpatricks, Hewitts and Wick and Wire. The traditional style shopfront of the Make Up Studio stands out. Befanis on Sarsfield Street deserves praise for its neat appearance while O’Connell boasts some excellent premises that include; Gallileos Restaurant, Mahers Pharmacy, Sean Tierney Pub, Annerley Jeweller, Fitzgeralds and the AIB. Further down, O’Gormans, Lonergans, Moroneys and Quirkes draw positive attention and we loved Hickeys and the mural at Gleesons Bar. Eldons on Dillon Street deserves praise. In Irish town, it was disappointing to see Ryans close up shop after 109 years and we hope that a reuse for this premises can be found soon. Country Park and Quimbys also caught our eye. We would like to commend the committee and volunteers for its excellent work repainting a row of shopfronts and properties on Nelson Street as this work has lifted the appearance of the whole street.Adjudication Report
Carrick on Suir
The restoration of the town walls and the work to the wonderful Old Bridge (constructed in 1457!) is also appreciated. Congratulations on your revamped Butler trail – this is a great way to explore your lovely town and we had a most enjoyable afternoon taking in the sites such as the West Gate, St Mollerans and the O’Hickey Monument and reading the interesting information plaques. It is great to see businesses and property owners working so hard on the upkeep of their buildings in Carrick-on-Suir.
The standard of presentation was generally high and this is perhaps a reflection of the excellent ‘best kept premises’ award. Many high quality shop fronts and business premises were observed and while all deserve praise, a small number stand out.
The Junction Bar opposite the town park was admired, while Figgertys, the Kinahan Pharmacy and the traditional design of Walshes caught our eye on New Street. The Garda Station overlooking the Fair Green is also a dominant structure. Main Street is awash with high quality commercial premises with the Carraig Hotel, both banks, the Cabin, Connors, Cooneys and O’Dwyers looking very well. Just Baked, the Sunnyside, Hearns, In the Wardrobe and the modern shop front of Coghlans Pharmacy adjacent to West gate impressed.
We particularly enjoyed seeing the traditional shopfronts of Taaffes and Sliabh na mBan appearing in good condition. Good quality shopfronts could also be seen on Greystone Street (Supervalu, Mulcahys and the Post Office) and Kickham Street where we loved the colourful mural at Tannerys. The Strand Bar on the excellent Bridge Street looked well. The work that you are currently carrying out on the derelict building on Kickham Street and Greenside is commended and this is making a very significant and positive difference to the appearance of your town.
On the approach from Kilkenny, the funeral care premises looked well while the vacant building opposite (which has the appearance of an old Forge) was also presented in good condition. Ryan's (with its excellent mural) and the Daybreak Shop at the junction set high standards for others to follow. Ambys Bar, the Post Office and the Credit Union didn’t disappoint as they also looked well. Community buildings that included the Church, complete with its bright new planters at the entrance steps, impressed and we marvelled at the old tower to the rear. This seems like a very old structure and we wondered if you had any information on this? If so, have you considered providing an information plaque? The fire station looked bright and fresh with its new coat of paint whilst the school deserves praise for its neat appearance– but its pedestrian entrance gates are likely to require fresh paint for 2018.
The Community Centre building also looked well. Well done on your work to the pumps in the town as they both looked clean and tidy. The features like the historical corner, the fairy garden and wildlife area were admired. We particularly liked the historical corner as it emphasises the rich history of the village and the surrounding area. Have you considered providing a map (rather than just the GPS co-ordinates) of the places of interest in the surrounding area as this may make them more accessible and easy to find. We were pleased to read that a new house has been constructed in the village near to the Community Centre and that the dwelling opposite the School is being refurbished. We would also like to commend the local residents that were involved in repairing Fennellys wall on the Kilkenny road. The provision of new streetlamps and double yellow lines is acknowledged.
The intact historical core and neat terraces of original dwellings provide Drangan with tremendous character and they give it a very distinctive appearance. The very high standard of presentation is a further attraction and the owners of the commercial premises that could be seen are deserving of praise for their efforts.
O'Hallorans Shop set a very high standard while Slattery's garage, also impressed. The Archway Bar looked smart but the protruding Smithwick's and Guinness signs on this premises may be in need of attention. Maureens also looked very well. We loved the natural stone church and we admired the wonderful Father Stapleton centre immediately adjacent to it. The school looked exceptionally well with its carefully maintained grounds and the community centre looked bright and fresh in its new coat of paint. We would like to compliment the committee on its excellent work, painting the well and the grotto as both of these features drew positive attention. The work undertaken to the old Forge and the corner building opposite the well was also appreciated as it ensured that the overall standard of presentation throughout the village.
It is always a pleasure to visit Emily. The built environment is of particular interest as it is clear that it makes a very positive contribution to your beautiful village. This is due to a combination of factors that include the intact nature of the original buildings, the uniform style of architecture, the lovely features (such as the building materials like natural stone) and the incredibly high standard of presentation. It is heartening to see that the Community appreciate the many attractive buildings and we acknowledge your hard work maintaining many of them. You have certainly been busy in 2017! The Creamery building on the approach from Tipperary looked well with its smart coat of paint while your work to the Grotto, the School Wall, the Central Garage, Snow Whites House, the Old Hall, the machinery yard, Hanleys Corner and the Barracks wall is acknowledged and appreciated. The contribution of other business owners such as the crisp and fresh McGraths (a most impressive building and yard), the Forge Bar, the Credit Union, the Post Office and Byrnes all stood out and our personal favorite were the old style traditional shop fronts of O’Connells and Hanleys as they provide distinctive character to your village. The butcher shop of J English and Callinans also deserve praise for the careful attention they have put into the upkeep of their buildings. The Health Centre in Galtee View looked exceptionally well.
The Church is a historical style building with large entrance pillars and it is maintained to a good standard - although the capping stones on the boundary wall and pillars may need a fresh coat of paint in time for 2018. The national school building looked particularly well with its carefully maintained grounds, attractive mature trees and colourful windowboxes which adorn the windowsills and front boundary walls. It was noted from your application form that the local Hall is being refurbished and we look forward to seeing these completed in the years ahead. The standard of presentation of commercial premises in the village is deserving of praise. Anglims Bar looked smart with its fresh coat of paint, and its bright and colourful windowboxes and the Post Office was similarly impressive. We will also like to commend the committee and volunteers on their high-quality maintenance of the old Cemetery and Church as they looked well kept during adjudication. The new Cemetery opposite Mountain View achieved a similarly high standard. The projects that you have completed for 2017 under this category are acknowledged. You are commended on your continuing work to the local Hall and for fixing the Stonebridge and stone walls on the Killusty road. The pallet fencing that has been provided around the bring bank was also appreciated as it looked well on adjudication day.
It is not surprisingly to hear that a number of properties in Cappawhite have been included in the buildings of Ireland website as the village has a large number of very attractive and very well maintained traditional style properties. It is heartening to read that a number of very positive developments have taken place in your village that include the purchase and reuse of vacant premises on the Main Street. We are delighted to hear that the arrival of the new restaurant has led to additional activity and visitors to your town. This positive trend could be clearly seen during our visit with the vast majority of buildings, businesses and shops looking exceptionally well and presented to a high standard. A number stood out. We loved the traditional shop front of Treacys and its eye-catching mural while the Pharmacy was also admired. Armshaws Bar with its ivy covered frontage looked particularly well and the Centra was neat and tidy. Although good quality buildings and urban spaces are concentrated around the square, good quality shopfronts and buildings could also be found in the rest of the village. Nico’s Restaurant, Kelly's bar and the Credit Union impressed while we loved the Irish language sign of Groovy gruaig. We also liked the traditional shopfronts and signs of T Ryan and Fitzgibbons and it hoped that the Hayes premises can also be improved. The community buildings in the village are presented to a very high standard. The modern church building is framed by a very attractive natural stone wall while its grounds contain attractive landscaping. The resource centre, the Youthreach and further education building, the school and the health centre were particularly impressive and they all adhered to the high standard of building presentation that could be found throughout Cappawhite. The Old Hall close to the junction with Church Street also looked well with its freshly painted doors and windows.
The church dominates the centre of the village while the old school building that is adjacent to it is productively reused as a community centre. Both of these buildings looked smart during adjudication as it was clear that they have both been recently cleaned and painted. What appears to be a garage and a shop (Hughes shop?) were adjacent to the community centre and both looked well. The single-storey traditional style dwelling opposite the church (which was assumed to be the old stone Principals House) was presented in good condition. The national school building on the Knocklofty road achieves a high standard of presentation and its well maintained grounds further enhance its appearance. We also visited the Cemetery and it was clear that very careful attention is paid to its upkeep.
The school is a lovely historical building, which looked bright and fresh with its new coat of paint. The standard of presentation of the hall opposite was similarly impressive while the Church, with its more modern design, also looked well. The natural stone cottage adjacent to the church was also observed and we wondered if the work that was carried out to the door and windows of this dwelling was undertaken by the tidy towns committee? Please let us know in 2018. The standard of presentation of the shops and businesses was also good, with Houlihans and the Post Office standing out. The hard work completed on O’Braonains was observed and appreciated and we enjoyed reading the information plaque on Thomas O’Donavan. The painted pump and plough here also added interest. The Millennium Resource Centre is an attractive building but its front boundary wall would benefit from a fresh coat of paint and the entrance sign needs tobe power washed.
We loved the Castle and the natural stone bridge that could be found at the entrance. The mill is a domineering structure and we note your proposal to try and paint this in the years ahead. The community centre at Templeneiry is a wonderful reuse of an old historical building and we have no doubt that it provides wonderful accommodation for your community functions! The Church of the Annunciation is an eye-catching historical structure and we admired the old national school building, which we note is now the proud home of the Credit Union. This also represents an imaginative reuse of an important heritage building. The historical style structure that accommodates the physiotherapy clinic and gym was observed with interest and we wondered what was its previous function? In addition to all of these wonderful historical buildings, we were delighted to see that many of the original terraces of traditional style two-storey dwellings in the village are largely intact with the majority in good condition and in active use. Given that you have so many buildings and structures of interest, we wondered if you had considered establishing a heritage trail?
While Ardfinnan Castle dominates most views of the village, the background provided by the River Suir is equally impressive. The remarkable 14 span stone bridge also drew positive attention despite the obvious roadworks that were taking place on it during adjudication. The standard of presentation of individual buildings was considered to be exceptionally high with a number of shops and businesses standing out. On Main Street, the Local Bar and the Greenview bar looked very well, whilst the XL supermarket and the Post Office impressed. On the opposite side of the river, the Pure Drop Bar deserves praise for its appearance. The new garage also looked well but it could be further improved by tidying up some of debris and materials that be seen on the edges of the forecourt. The school and the church drew positive attention with their smart appearance while the Community Hall looked bright and fresh in its new coat of paint. Much of the distinctive character of your village is derived from the green area that adjoins the river and you are commended on maintaining this wonderful space to such a high standard with its attractive seating areas and pleasant landscaped areas. Additions like the planted boat, the old cart and the water pump add further interest. We also loved reading the information sign on the history of your Village and the Castle.
The clock tower is a very distinctive central feature and it looked particularly well during adjudication. Sean Allen House impressed while the old Court House also drew positive attention. It is noted that roof repairs are scheduled to be carried out and it is hoped the entire building will be refurbished in time. St Marys Church is an excellent structure and it is great to see the magnificent RIC Barracks refurbished to such a high standard. Many other historical structures such as the Railway Station, the water tower (following its repairs) and Canan Hayes Community Centre (with its new roof) were also admired. In the view of the adjudicator, these buildings have an enormous influence on the unique character of your town and the Committee is highly commended on its excellent work that results in these buildings being retained, restored and reused. The excellent work that you initiated at Daltons on Emmet Street provides a vivid example of this. The streetscapes are no less impressive with the terraces of historical buildings on Mitchell Street, James St and John Street standing out. We enjoyed seeing the new Health Centre on Rosanna Street as the contemporary design of this building and the adjacent Council Offices represent a variation on the more traditional designs that dominate elsewhere in the town.
It is great to
The Excel, Tipperary Town.
see that your committee is working in partnership with the traders and businesses in the Main Street through your work in the town forum that has resulted in the repair and renovation of 9 properties. The Council Shop front enhancement scheme is also making a positive difference. The results of these initiatives and the hard work of business owners and operators in the town centre were clear to see on adjudication day with the vast majority of buildings presented to a very high standard. While it is difficult to pick out examples, a number drew our attention. We loved Nellie O’Briens and the Porterhouse as both appear to have made an extra special effort this year. The traditional shop fronts of O’Connor Brothers Hardware and Blackburns are eye catching while the Maid of Erin Pub is similarly impressive. Both the AIB Bank and Bank Of Ireland stand out and the Spar Shop demonstrates an excellent reuse of the Old Post Office. Other good buildings and shopfronts include include Prime 74, the Hapenny Place, Ryans, Lowerys and the Central B&B. We were particularly taken with the use of high quality murals on business premises with Danny Ryans Music Shop, Cornys, Cleanline and the mural at Blackburns standing out. The Arravale Rovers mural at Sean Treacy Park also looked very well.
We loved the lovely natural stone ‘big’ bridge over the river Suir while the smaller natural stone bridge over the Glen River in the centre of the village (which is believed to date from the 15th century) is also very impressive. Prendergast Castle and the old church also drew attention and we wondered if your committee has considered setting up a heritage trail in your village which would provide information plaques on all of the structures and buildings of interest? This would be an effective way of raising awareness of the history of your village and it would appeal to both visitors and residents alike. We were delighted to see that there are a number of terraces of the original dwellings in the village but it is disappointing to note that a number appear to be vacant. It is hoped that the upcoming plan for your village will seek the refurbishment and productive reuse of these lovely old buildings. We were heartened to see that a number of the older commercial buildings remain in active use and in good condition with Nugents Pub and John O'Donnells providing excellent examples of this. The Londis shop and post office and the Mac Arra Hardware shop all looked well and are presented to a good standard. The Church and its well maintained Cemetery impressed and we admired the smart appearance of the Scoil Mhuire Caislean Nua, the Naonri and the Muintir na Tire Hall. We were very interested to read that your committee has some exciting plans for dealing with the challenges that face Newcastle in terms of buildings that are vacant and in poor condition. It is heartening to see that your committee is determined to turn challenges into opportunities by identifying potential new uses of vacant structures that will benefit the village and the residents.
The Horse and Hound Pub is an attractive traditional style building that is presented to a good standard, whilst the period dwelling opposite also draws positive attention. The national school looked very well during the visit and despite its recent year of construction, its design is similar to that of a traditional style building and it blends in well into the streetscape of the village. The church with its grey brick finish and the majority of the houses are more modern in their appearance but they all looked well. The Community Hall, which is located in the centre of the village, is quite an attractive building that is also presented to a good standard. The Church car park is well positioned as it services both the Community Hall and the Church but like the adjudicator in 2016, we noted that its surface could be improved. Are there any plans to resurface this? We note that the walkabout in the sports field has been in use for a number of years and it is likely that this reflects its importance as a valuable local amenity for walking and jogging. Could this be extended or connected to any other walks?
We loved Paddy Dawsons Pub with its original design and its high standard of presentation. Quinlans at the junction is no less impressive. Both the Church and the School are attractive buildings and it is heartening to see that both of these buildings and their grounds are maintained on a regular basis. Your excellent work on the house adjacent to the Church also deserves praise as it looked fantastic during our visit. Other features also added interest. We enjoyed visiting the cemetery and we were pleased to see that great attention is given to its upkeep. St Patrick's well on the Oola road is an eye-catching structure and it was clear during our visit that it receives the close attention of your committee during cleanups. The Conway monument is similarly well maintained while the pump at the junction of the Main Street and the Oola road looked smart with its fresh coat of paint and attractive urn. We were pleasantly surprised to find that 2 working farms are located in the centre of the village and this emphasises its rural character.
The natural stone bridge over the river on the Glenwood approach is a most impressive feature and we also enjoyed seeing the array of architectural styles in the village centre which range from traditional style structures to more modern buildings. We would also like to compliment the shops and businesses on the high standard of presentation that they achieved for their premises. A number of these commercial buildings stood out and they include Robinsons, Nagle's, the Garage and the Post Office. The school on the Fethard road also looked well. The newly built stone seats (which are dedicated to your colleague Joe) were admired and the smartly painted pump, also looked well. The new colour scheme of black and yellow road traffic islands and the arches leading into the car park was observed and we particularly liked the treatment of the small area (is this the Moriarty plot?) to the rear of the bus stop with its mural on the wall and wooden sculpture as this is considered to be very imaginative way to enhance this small space.
Main street provides many examples of high quality commercial premises. We loved the traditional shop front (and traditional style building) of Quinns while Geoghegans and the Pharmacy also impressed. The Centra is a modern shopfront in an old building and it achieves a good standard of presentation. The bit and bridle and Ardagh House have both made strenuous efforts with landscaping and the original design of Laherts was eyecatching. Ladbrokes on the corner deserves praise for its appearance. The Credit Union, Kennedys and the Post office stand out for the right reasons. Pike Street was also home to some good quality commercial buildings with O’Dwyers and the Corner House drawing positive attention. We would also like to compliment Glanbia on the appearance of its building and it could be further improved if the rather dull circular planters on the grass margin outside it were refreshed.
We were impressed that the number of original buildings that remain in place and these provide great character and distinction. You are also struck by the very high standard of presentation that was achieved by virtually all dwellings and businesses. Ahernes Village Tavern looked incredibly well with its fresh coat of paint and traditional style shopfront. However, a protruding sign for Carling on the building looked strangely out of place due to its untidy condition. The old-style shop front of P Ryans is just as impressive and it also drew positive attention. The church is an attractive historical building with a natural stone finish, while the adjacent parochial house is just as impressive. On the Kilross Road, the GAA grounds stand out and this is a wonderful local amenity for your village. The cemetery looked particularly well and it is clear that this area is maintained to an exceptionally high standard. We also liked the smartly presented pump, the well and we loved the stone seat adjacent to the new wildlife sign. The work of the tidy towns committee on renovating and refurbishing the older properties in the village such as the Coffeys Forge and the Creamery is both acknowledged and appreciated.
We would like to congratulate the committee and all the volunteers on the completion of the excellent heritage trail. This is a wonderful addition to the attractions of your fascinating village and it captures all the historical and natural features of interest. We spent a very enjoyable evening visiting each feature and reading information signs with great interest. St Patrick's Well is a very distinctive place and the high standard of maintenance of its grounds could clearly be seen. The Famine Wall is a particularly striking structure and it is great to see that it remains in good condition and we look forward to seeing the information panel here next year. The Lake was admired and we marvelled at the many mature trees and the natural stone walls at its edge. We loved Marlfield House and we salute your committee for having the foresight to place an attractive seating area that affords wonderful views of the house at the roundabout into your village. St Patrick’s Church was also admired and you are commended on the great work that you regularly do maintaining its grounds. The natural stone walls throughout the village are incredibly impressive and they, along with the lovely mature trees, provide so much of the distinctive character of Marlfield.
The presence of two castles and a number of significant period dwellings definitely add plenty of interest for the visitor! Like last years adjudicator, we very much enjoyed reading about the history of the area and we were fascinated by the story and achievement of Thomas Keily (Ireland's greatest athlete), who won no less than 53 national titles due to his versatility as an athlete! We would like to commend those responsible for putting the information together and for preparing and erecting the information signs as they are incredibly effective in raising awareness of your area's history. There were also a number of buildings within Ballyneale that caught our eye. The church is quite an attractive historical structure while the adjacent teachers house is also a nice period building. The Parish Hall looked well and it is hoped that the building opposite, which is currently for sale, finds a new owner and productive use soon. Further out, the school achieves a good standard of presentation and we enjoyed reading the monument to mark the site of the first Gaelic football match. It is noted that your committee have been busy restoring a pump in the village but regrettably, it was not included on the map. However, two pumps were observed during our visit – one on the Carrick on Suir road and another larger structure on the approach road leading to the Church. You will be pleased to know the both pumps looked well on adjudication day.
We were delighted to see that the historic core of the village that is located around the magnificent stone bridge remains intact with lovely traditional style buildings to be seen. It is particularly pleasing to see that all of these wonderful old buildings remain in active use and that they have been maintained to a high standard. The Multeen river was admired and we were loved the views of the surrounding mountains that were available from different parts of the village but particularly from the Church and the graveyard. Individual businesses and shops deserve praise for the high standard of presentation of the properties. O’Connells impressed and we loved the mural on the wall of Ryans Bar. The Credit Union and the supermarket also looked very well. The hard work of the community in maintaining its key buildings could clearly be seen during our visit. The attention given to the Community Centre was clearly evident as it looked bright and fresh in its new coat of paint. The church also looked well and the maintenance of the graveyard was demonstrated by its neatly trimmed grass and spotless boundary walls and pillars. Praise is also due to the school as they achieved a particularly high standard of presentation with its neatly painted walls and immaculate grounds. Well done to both the Ball Alley committee and the tidy towns committee on the maintenance of the Ball Alley – it looked fantastic! It was also noted that the dwelling immediately adjacent to the Community Centre is being refurbished and we look forward to seeing this complete in the years ahead. The Forge is also an original and distinctive feature of Hollyford.
There are a small number of buildings of local significance. They include OB’s Pub and the Shamrock Lounge which looked quite well and the recently painted old school building adjacent to it looked particularly fresh and bright. The national school building which is located on the road to Kearneys Forge is currently vacant and we note from your application that it has been sold and we look forward to seeing this building being brought back into productive use in the near future. Your application form states that a number of projects were completed for this year's competition. The provision of attractive name stones for both housing estates is both acknowledged and appreciated and they looked well during our visit. You are commended on your continued maintenance of the local school and well done on providing a garden of remembrance for the Kilross residents who wish to commemorate their loved ones. Your work painting the field gates in the village is worthwhile and an example of this was seen between the school building and the Hillview estate.
We admired the recently power washed Church of St Thomas the Apostle with its historical design (dating from 1838) and well cared for grounds. The school looked particularly well and it was a credit to all those involved in its presentation. Commercial buildings also deserve praise with the Raceside Garage impressing and we note that the Ivy appears to have recently been removed from Dansies. We were interested to see that some traditional style single-storey buildings can be found in the village that included the stone cottage at the crossroads and the whitewashed structures adjacent to the handball alley and we wondered if these represent some of the original buildings in your village? Similarly, we admired the ruins in the centre of the very well maintained cemetery and we would welcome any information on this structure in your application next year. We note that you have been busy with projects under this category for 2017 and you will be pleased to know that the resurfaced car park (complete with new road markings) and reconfigured bring bank looked well on adjudication day.
The Main Street of the town has many impressive historic buildings with the tourist office and Kearneys Castle hotel standing out. We were delighted to read that the Cashel Palace hotel is due to reopen for business in the near future. Its grounds was a hive of activity with plenty of workmen coming and going. Not be outdone, the wonderful Baileys Hotel looked particularly well and we marvelled at the wonderful cluster of historic buildings comprising the courthouse, Garda station and Tipperary education and training board in Commandant Hogan Square. The cross and the fountain at Lower Gate Square are acknowledged and we took a trip through Agar Lane to visit the St John the Baptist Cathedral and the now vacant Bolton library building. The grounds of the Cathedral are also very impressive with their wonderful mature trees remnants of the city walls and the edifices that can be seen. We visited the impressive St John the Baptist Church and we took care to note your high-quality maintenance of the cemetery in its grounds.
Kearneys Castle, Cashel.
Our visit to An Bothan Scoir confirmed that it is getting a new thatched roof at present and we look forward to seeing this complete next year. We noted with interest that the ducking pond referred to on the information panel here is now being used as the gout wildlife area and we think that this is a far superior use than the previous one! We would also like to compliment the many shops and businesses in the town who have worked exceptionally hard to presenting their premises to a high standard. While it is not possible to mention them all here, a number stood out. At Ladyswell, Rock house impressed and nearby O’Neills and Gleesons looked well. In the town centre, a high standard of presentation was the rule rather than the exception, but the tourist office, Rossa Pottery, Kennedys Pharmacy, O’Donaghues Pub, the Kilkenny shop, Supervalu, Ryans Pub, Pat Foxes Bat and the Brian Boru all looked very well. On Friar Street, the Friary pharmacy, the flower shop and Mr Mister all impressed with their smart appearance.
There is an interesting mix of buildings to be seen with a cluster of historical style structures at the cross roads comprising the former Post Office building, the Rovers Inn, the vacant Barrons premises and the shop. All of these buildings are maintained to a good standard and provide an attractive focus to the village. The church on the Golden road is an eye-catching structure with a natural stone tower to the front (which also contains its entrance) and a rendered section located immediately to the rear of the tower. The cemetery in the grounds of the church also looks very well and it is clearly the subject of careful maintenance. The girls national school opposite looked smart with its freshly painted front boundary wall that was visible from the front parking area \ set down area. The large Convent building was also seen located immediately adjacent to the girls school. The former Garda barracks on the Cahir road was observed and it is a shame to see that this wonderful old building continues to lie vacant. The vacant former national school building was also spotted and like the adjudicator in 2016, we wondered if this structure was in community ownership and if there were any plans for it? Given that there are a number of vacant buildings in the village, it is recommended that that the vacancies are discussed with Tipperary County Council as the Council have powers under the Derelict Sites Act to compel the owners of poorly maintained or derelict buildings to take remedial action. The boys school, adjacent to the GAA grounds, was in good shape but its front entrance gate and railings are likely to need a fresh coat of paint for 2018. The community centre on the road leading to Fr Meehan Crescent was also in good condition and despite the fact that its vacant, the Old Forge looked quite well. The work that you have undertaken to the field at the crossroads is acknowledged and it is clear from the careful upkeep of the graveyard of Lena Rice that both Lena and our family are held in very high regard in New Inn.
Killusty is dominated by the natural stone Church, which is presented in excellent condition and is set within attractive and well maintained grounds. The National School building, which is located opposite the church is no less impressive and it looked smart with its fresh coat of paint. The revamped seating area that is adjacent to its entrance also looked very well. It is noted from your application form that there are challenges in your village with unoccupied buildings but we are pleased to report that the vacant properties (Keanes and Byrnes) had the appearance of regularly maintained premises during our visit. The natural stone walls of the church and the school were admired and they helped to add character to the centre of your village. The boundary walls of the cemetery are cleverly done as they do not appear to be natural stone, but aged render to which seams have been added – and this gives them a finish that is consistent with boundary walls of the adjacent Church.
We loved the restored town wall between the Watergate and the West gate and the Holy Trinity Church of Ireland looked amazing on adjudication day. The Augustinian Abbey was similarly impressive and we enjoyed seeing the different historical periods (mediaeval, 18th-century and so on) reflected in the existing structure. Edmond Castle is a dominant structure and we were interested to read that it is among the largest fortified houses in Ireland. The Northgate is particularly eye-catching and it is great to see that one of the original gates into the town is somewhat intact. The Sheela Na Gig at the Watergate is a wonderful artefact and we were delighted to see such a fine example on display here. Of course, there is much more to your town than mediaeval structures and buildings. The Presentation Convent, the RC Holy Trinity Church (dating from 1818) and the Fethard Community Council buildings between them are particularly eye-catching and they looked very well during the visit.
The Tholsel, Fethard, now the Horse Museum.
The ornate iron poles (for hanging baskets?) at the top of the RC Holy Trinity Church steps would benefit from a fresh coat of paint. The Town Hall is a wonderful building in terms of its presentation and appearance. We were delighted to find that shops and businesses in Fethard play a very active role in presenting the town to a high standard and many commercial premises deserve praise for their well-kept appearance. At the square, we liked Roisins, Lonergans, Daltons Pharmacy (with excellent Irish language signage), Reflections, Town & Country and the AIB opposite was also impressive. Further down, Butlers, O’Sullivans Pharmacy, the post office, the credit union and the wonderful traditional shop front of the Veterinary Clinic stood out. McCarthys and the Bridge Bar impressed and the ballroom looked bright and fresh. The high standard of presentation achieved by Dooks Fine Foods at Westgate is worthy of a note of appreciation. Opposite Burke Street, the Castle Inn is a wonderful building and shopfront while Ui Floinn, Emilys, the Well and McManus deserve credit for their appearance. It is a shame to see that O’Sheas wonderful old shopfront is in need of a revamp and we wondered if conservation grants are available from Tipperary County Council for this purpose?
St John's Castle in the centre of the village is a dominating structure and as it dates from the 13th century, it accurately demonstrates how long a settlement has been located here. The courthouse is another eye-catching building while the RIC barracks is another lovely old building. The old soup kitchen was observed with interest and it is pleasing to see that this building appears to be in productive reuse as a residential dwelling while Killaghy Castle is also in private hands and in active use. We were impressed with the range of traditional style terraced buildings which emanate from the crossroads outwards and which are in good condition and presented to a high standard. The statues of Sean O’Cuinn and Charles Kickham were also admired. We wondered if any consideration has been given to setting up the heritage trail in the village as there certainly appears to be enough structures and buildings of interest to warrant one. This will involve placing a map showing a heritage trail route and information plaques on each feature of interest. Perhaps this could be discussed with Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary Development Company? We are pleased to see that individual shops and businesses are making a big effort in the upkeep of their buildings with the majority appearing in very good condition. We have no doubt that the painting scheme that was undertaken by the Committee has also played a positive role in the tidy appearance of Mullinahone. Bretts Hardware looked tremendously well and it sets a very high standard for others to follow. The Stack of Barley Pub and T J Macs bar, also looked very well while the Credit Union, Post Office and the Pharmacy deserve praise for their appearance. It was clear that a great deal of effort has gone into maintaining the school as it looked smart with its fresh coat of paint and the Church and the small health centre also looked well. We were pleased to see that the footpath and roads restoration project in the village is underway and we look forward to seeing it completed next year.
Although Cahir Castle normally steals the show in your attractive heritage town, we found that this wonderful structure is just one of many excellent buildings to be admired. The heritage trail (that is signposted from the Castle car park) does an excellent job in directing the interested observer to each one of these attractions. The Mall contains a first class example of a terrace of Georgian houses while St Pauls (designed by Nash) and the Erasmus Smith House provide excellent examples of 19th-century architecture by renowned architect. The ha-ha from the river walk between these buildings is also an interesting feature. We also enjoyed visiting the old Abbey and the viaduct across across the river presents a striking natural stone feature.
The Square provides a wonderful focus to your town with high quality buildings like the Cahir House Hotel and the Library forming its east and west boundaries. It was noted that the central fountain was not in operation and we wondered why. A major reason why your town looked particularly well during adjudication was the high standard of presentation achieved by the many fine shops and businesses. Whilst they are too numerous to mention here, a number of examples stood out with the Heritage, the Credit Union, the Galtee Inn, the Shamrock lounge, the Bank of Ireland the Cahir Pharmacy and the Craft Granary Store standing out. We were interested to read that Carrigeen Castle has undergone some improvements but as this is a private property, we were reluctant to enter the grounds. We note the projects you have presented under this category in your application form and we can assure you that we visited all of the features in your town, the Castle, the Movie garden adjacent to the car park (which is a lovely idea), the wonderful town park (along with the Fairy doors on the Coronation Walk) and the Swiss Cottage and we considered them to be first class attractions! The extensive work to Cahir Park which included the provision of an all weather facility is also acknowledged and appreciated.
We loved reading the excellent information signs and we made it our business to go and visit the wonderful Kilcash castle (and it was amazing)! We were delighted to see that all of the property owners and occupiers in the village had worked hard on their buildings and the result was a very high standard of presentation could be seen. The Community Centre looked bright and smart with its fresh coat of paint while Kehoes Pub was no less impressive. The Church is a most attractive natural stone structure and we were struck by the high standard of maintenance that could be seen in the cemetery that surrounded it. The School deserves praise for the polished appearance of the main building and grounds and we enjoyed seeing the old single storey structure immediately adjacent to the cemetery that provides Kilcash with an example of vernacular architecture.
The range of high-quality historical buildings to be seen is striking and it is heartening to see that so many of the original buildings in the village remain intact, in good condition and in active use. In the historic village core, Berties Pub sets a particularly high standard in terms of presentation. However, the many other buildings such as Heffernan's, the Pharmacy, the Credit Union, Claires Hair Salon and O’Dwyers betting office also looked very well. We also loved the building that accommodated the Sierra Boutique and the Wedding Suite. The heritage buildings in Dundrum are most impressive and we enjoyed seeing the wonderful RIC barracks (which looked very well with its painted wooden windows), St Mary's Church and the excellent Station House at the end of station road. The work of your committee in restoring the boundary walls of the old Schoolhouse is both acknowledged and appreciated and we hope that this building can be returned to active use soon. We were particularly impressed at the standard of presentation of many of the other buildings in the village. The O’Dwyer steel plant deserves praise for the appearance of its boundary wall (complete with tree mural) while the Premier Veterinary shop (and its mural) also looks well. P. P. O’Dwyers Hardware and the Little Treasures Creche and Playschool with the adjacent Cafe also drew positive attention. Well done to all concerned for the maintenance of the Community Hall as it looked exceptionally well during our visit.