Chairman Denis Ryan was loud in his praise at the recent Tidy Towns AGM of all volunteers, Community employees, TÚS workers, community groups, Residents’ associations, Development associations, and all who had worked tirelessly all year to make 2015 one of the most successful years to date for Roscrea in the National Tidy Towns competition.
He said the “Highlight” of the year for all of us here in Roscrea was the positive publicity the town received on the RTE Nationwide programme which was presented to the Nation in August last year. Following this he said winning back the “Bronze” Medal” in the National tidy towns competition was very much welcomed, together with the announcement that the Roscrea Junior Tidy Towns entry to the Diversity Award had been commended and won them a cheque for €1,000.
The launch of the Tidy Towns Diversity Award took place in the Annex to Damer House in
May last year by the then Minister for the Environment, Mr. Alan Kelly. This initiative which was inspired by Roscrea Junior Tidy Towns got recognition from Minister Kelly at the National Tidy Towns Awards Ceremony in the Helix last September, and was also responsible for bringing about the visit of Nationwide to our town.
Thinking ahead to this year’s results Mr. Ryan said in his address to the members and volunteers that we are now into the last two months of the present Tidy Towns year, and it is hoped to bring Roscrea to “Silver” status this year with the continued help and support of everyone. He said a huge amount of work has been done and projects completed since the 1st June of last year when the Tidy towns year began. It is now hoped to concentrate on making Roscrea “A BLAZE OF COLOUR” this year with additional flower beds and more hanging baskets, window boxes etc. The Chairman is appealing to everyone to put out hanging baskets and floral containers from the approach roads into town and all along the streets to create a greater impact as one approaches and arrives into town. With the help of all the Residents’ Committees now springing up around the town he is confident this will happen. Let us all work together to make Roscrea a “BLAZE OF COLOUR” this year. A word of warning on this is not to put up baskets or window boxes unless you are prepared to feed and water at least once a week and water daily in dry weather. Now is the time to start collecting rain water in barrels for this purpose to save on water consumption and charges.
The Chairman then concentrated on Projects completed all year that included work in the new Tidy Towns Amenity park (otherwise known as the Library Field) the back entrance to the Graveyard, Hedge planting on the Dublin and Limerick road by the Community employees, the clearance of overgrown briars and scrub along the river from the Monastery into Burgoo bridge was a huge undertaking by Sean and Michael Hogan, and Brendan Keeshan and he said everyone in town appreciated the work they had done on this over the Winter months. He mentioned the men in the SHED whose contribution to cleaning of approach roads, streets, footpaths etc is invaluable to the tidy towns committee, and with their continued help and support will make an enormous difference to the town’s mark under “Litter and Tidiness” this year and in the years ahead. He mentioned and thanked the Beaver in the river otherwise known as Brendan Abbot for his time and effort cleaning the river and also Donal Walsh for his commitment all year to picking litter morning, evening and night time. He said Roscrea and the tidy towns committee are deeply indebted to all of them.
Looking towards the remaining two months of this year he said the Committee now have the arduous task of “preventing waste and coming up with ideas to minimise it” and he elected a sub committee to work on this before the tidy towns submission is completed. This is the category where Roscrea could easily increase it’s mark by a minimum of ten upwards as we presently only have fifteen marks out of fifty. This task now falls on the shoulders of Dick Conroy, Sharon Hynes Kruse, Carmel O’Connor, Billy Newman and Eileen Doherty.
In conclusion Denis thanked his fellow officers, committee members, and volunteers, for their enormous contributions and goodwil all year. He specifically mentioned those who gave so generously at tidy towns collection points during the year, those who made voluntary financial donations, the OPW, LIONS and SVDP for very generous contributions etc. to Committee funds. He then acknowledged financial support from the Council and also the Council staff who are always so willing to meet and cooperate with us. He thanked Ken Wall for work, design and guidance, Residents committees who made a great difference in the past year, the Junior tidy towns for the huge contribution they made all Summer into Autumn, and said their energy and enthusiasm had motivated all of them. The POP UP SHOP had been a great success and will help fund projects throughout the town during the year that will also include a 1916 Remembrance Garden at the rear of the Library.
He thanked the Enhancement Committee for work done around the town, and of course he is looking forward to seeing much more progress by them in the coming year(s). He said the Enhancements Awards were a great idea and were very successful. This initiative created a new friendly rivalry among the residents in all estates that are now competing and he said the reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more, so he looked forward to many more new projects, and new and old residents committees competing in the competition this year thereby promoting environmental awareness, civic pride and pride in our community. He advised the residents in all estates to do their preparation for this competition now if not already done as he understands the Enhancement awards will be announced later in the month.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS THEN TOOK PLACE AND OFFICERS ELECTED FOR THE COMING YEAR ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Chairperson – Denis Ryan, Secretary Dick Conroy, Treasurer Rose Crofton, Assistant Treasurer – John Buckley, Audit Assistant – Patricia Gleeson, PRO – Eileen Doherty.
Projects for the year ahead that were decided on were to continue with the School Poetry competition, and this will be headed by the School liaison officer - Eadaoin Doherty Coughlan. It was decided that the theme for this year’s competition will be the “Commemoration of the Easter Rising, a celebration honouring the lives of those who signed the Proclamation and those who fought in the cause of Irish Freedom. Any aspect of this that one is very familiar with and lends itself to good poetry reading will be acceptable. All Schools in Roscrea and surrounding areas will be welcome to enter a poem in the competition in English or Irish.
Finally it was decided to put a Tidy towns 1916 Garden of Remembrance to the rear of the Library in front of the Fire Station (with the Fire Officers approval) as an initiative to ensure an enduring physical legacy following the centenary celebration of the 1916 Rising. This garden will also ensure public engagement on a local level for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, and will be Roscrea Tidy Towns contribution to same. This garden decided by the members will be in the name of Thomas McDonagh being the Tipperary man and was designed by renowned Irish gardener, Diarmuid Gavin. It will have three elements: an engraved life size typographical replica of the 1916 Proclamation, a maintenance free flag pole with Tricolour and seven trees that will represent the seven signatories of the Proclamation.
The Chairperson said this garden will adequately bring our Tidy Towns year to an Historic conclusion, and will be a fitting remembrance to those who lost their lives for Irish freedom.
This concluded the 2015 Annual General Meeting.