Great News! Carrickmacross has retained the Gold Medal, scoring 314 points in the Tidy Towns competition 2014. This is an increase of 8 points from last year.
17/06/2014 & 20/07/2014
Marks Awarded 2014
Maximum Marks Possible
Community Involvment and Planning
Built Enviorment and Streetscape
Lanscape and Open Spaces
Wildlife, habitats and Natural Amenities
Sustainable Waste and Resource Management
Tidiness and Litter Control
Residential Streets and Housing
Approach Roads. Streets and Lanes
Total Mark >>
Community Involvement and Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail agus Pleanáil:
Carrickmacross is warmly welcomed to the 2014 Supervalu National Tidy Towns Competition; thank you for your submission which contained a series of maps which did not facilitate adjudication as it was quite difficult to pick out major landmarks and enumerated projects; thank you for your plan summary also. The organisation of the Tidy Towns initiative in Carrickmacross is well structured with three different committees and a large number of volunteers who give their time according to their availability. With almost thirty years experience of competing in the Tidy Towns Competition it is no surprise to your adjudicator that Carrickmacross impresses on every visit. It is a pleasure to note your Heritage Trail and in particular the Patrick Kavanagh features at Lisanisk Lake; it is also good to note that your visitor information panel relates specifically to the town itself and not to the county in general. Well established links with a variety of stakeholders in the development of Carrickmacross play an important role in your success to date, as does your communication methods and engagement with local schools. We look forward to your continued participation in the competition and to many future visits.
Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
It was a pleasure to note that the town centre along the Main Street is largely free of wirescape and features attractive street furniture; hopefully wirescape on O’Neill Street will be ducted in the not too distant future as it is quite visually obtrusive. On street car parking is well organised. The majority of buildings are presented to the high standard that we have come to expect from Carrickmacross; Supermacs on the corner of Main Street and Shirley House Lane is nicely painted including its perimeter walls. Some other premises however along the lane are in need of attention. The Sean’s Deli on the Main Street enjoys an excellent presentation including its upper storeys. The majority of shopfronts look quite well however roller shutters to the roadside of windows were noted on the Footwear shop on O’Neill Street in addition to Pets and More; continue to discourage the use of security shutters to the outside of the window as they spoil the visual amenity of their respective streetscape; it is possible to relocate them inside windows to allow an attractive window display outside of business hours. St. Finbar’s Church and Ground together with St. Louis Convent are both neatly presented and of course St. Joseph’s Church looks quite magnificent. The Patrician High School has a beautifully landscaped curtilage area, the same point can be made in respect of the Quinns Superstore complex and the Top garage, the roadside boundary of the latter was admired also. Well done for work accomplished on both heritage buildings and derelict buildings and in particular the Bridewell, well done on the breakthrough here. Creative artwork on namestones throughout the town is a distinguishing and most attractive feature of Carrickmacross.
Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
Roundabouts on both the Castleblaney road and the Dundalk road look magnificent. The redevelopment of Lisanisk Lakeside Park will enhance the quality of life for the community and of course offer visual amenity for the travellingpublic. Flower displays throughout the town are numerous and profuse and the Market Square/County Offices/Library looks particularly well. Green areas enjoy beautiful maintenance and the Cloughvalley Park development was particularly admired; the Civic Offices are beautifully landscaped also. The allotments project is impressive.
Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
The seasonal checklist on the Lisanisk Lake Nature Trail is a nice touch and a great bonus for those undertaking thetrail; the identification of many facets of nature from reed beds to hedgerow, grassland, woodland and lake is a wonderful facility. The Convent Avenue Walk through unspoiled woodland adds another dimension to wildlife in Carrickmacross and it is good to note that a start has been made on signposting biodiversity here. The bird and bat boxes no doubt will play their part in raising awareness of biodiversity in Carrickmacross. The gym equipment which features in playing fields is a welcome addition to recreational amenity status of the town as is of course the visually appealing and fun playground; cognisance has been taken of the basketball court also.
Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
Your composting initiative makes sense in the light of your allotments project and it is good to note the attendance of Tidy Towns committee members at the six week course whereby knowledge and skill will be passed onto the community in general and the schools in particular. Well done to those schools and their students who have achieved Green Flag status and continue to work for higher levels, this is an important area where Tidy Towns and schools work together in waste and resource management. The mobile watering system designed and built by one of your members in a bid to conserve water and save time is applauded and the support gained from a local business is noteworthy too. Links with local business regarding their waste recycling is noted. It was a little difficult too find your recycling centre although it is signposted from a main road, the road on which it is located could feature a roadside sign also. Other recycling bins were found to be neatly presented. As you are aware optimum performance in this category requires a focus on prevention at source, with this in mind please log on to the following website –
and consult your Tidy Towns Handbook for ideas for projects aimed at the prevention of the generation of waste.
Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
The industrial area off Oriel Road features a lot of weed growth and overall under development, although planting here is acknowledged, it looks a little untidy. Reference has already been made to the neatly boarded up premises at the Bridewell, well done. A lane and a site beside Howell Jewellers has an underdeveloped appearance which again looks a little untidy. A utility box on the Bridewell Lane could be repainted. Neat hoarding to an unfinished development on the Kingscourt Road looks well. Litter control within Carrickmacross is very strong and the overall appearance is one of tidiness. A little litter and a cardboard box at the recycling point in the public car park adjoining the Bridewell was noted but it did not constitute a major problem. It is good to note that you have the support of the Chamber of Commerce for de-cluttering in terms of signage and footpath clutter. Although the curtilage area of Quinns Superstore was attractive there were too many advertisement signs here and many of them are enormous in size. Regular litter control both in the centre and on approach roads is an excellent initiative and the input of volunteers and the local Scout group is applauded; the support received from the local authority is acknowledged also. Your proposal for a small number of digital notice boards at various locations that will act as community notice boards thereby eliminating much flyposting is applauded and hopefully the application for funding will be successful.
Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
Do continue to remind residents of the need to present their roadside boundary walls to as high a standard as possible, this will involve keeping a close eye on weather-staining and taking remedial action as necessary. Some beautiful residential estates were noted on the Crossmaglen road with magnificent gardens. The grass around the nameplate on this road should be maintained neatly trimmed. Residential developments off the Dundalk road are beautiful also in terms of landscaping including maturing trees and neatly maintained green open spaces, however boundary wall treatment was necessary in too many instances. Chapel Lane features nicely painted townhouse dwellings and attractive street furniture. Tailte an Chlochai appears to be a relatively new estate and looked quite well; an unfinished housing development off the Oriel road is noted. The large limestone boulders where used as estate nameplates is an especially nice feature. Well done on treatment to the unfinished estate on the old Ardee road.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
Road and footpath surfaces throughout the town and on approach roads are generally good and road markings are clear; car parking is well organised too and street furniture is generally well presented. As noted above namestones are a handsome feature of the townscape. Cultural signposting is an excellent feature of Carrickmacross also. The Riverside Road on which the Civic Offices and businesses are located is presented to a high standard and young trees will grace this road in time as they mature. Chapel Lane which is a combination of residential with nicely maintained green areas, flower displays and maturing trees enjoys good road surfaces. The redesign and kerbing along the Kingscourt Road/Mullinary junction is acknowledged together with the new footpath and it is good to note that the Pavement Replacement scheme is completed and features dishing for disabled access.
Second Round Adjudication:
Carrickmacross TidyTowns Committee has submitted a very strong but perhaps overly detailed entry form this year. Perhaps give your application an overhaul for next year. Include only the relevant projects completed in the competition year, as it is a little difficult to decipher between projects that have been completed since your last adjudication, and those which we have seen completed in the past previous. To rectify this, consider including project completition dates. Consider also putting all before and after and other supporting photographs in a separate attachment. Your Committee are doing stellar work on the ground and are to be commended for their community liaison, which is being further developed with the help of your new IT team – a great idea! A great sense of pride of place is evident upon visiting Carrickmacross. Colourful coordinated planters adorn the Main Street and compliment the line of trees. Numerous businesses have also contributed to the colourful streetscape with blooming hanging baskets and colourful shopfronts. Planting at the Courthouse and the carts at Supervalu and Market Square were also a wealth of colour. Christmas decorations at T&L Paints are not advisable outside the festive season. The exterior of the Xtravision premises is in need of painting. Weeds were also noted in the guttering above Wards Funeral Director Directors. We admired the lovely fresh appearance at Pairc Emmet. The Workhouse also looks well. What are the plans for the outside of the Phoenix Centre? Currently it looks rather poor with the security fencing and unfinished landscaping. The new Aldi and the Civic Offices are a success. The unfinished development on the Adree Road is screened well. The various carved and decorated name stones at numerous locations around the town are a lovely touch giving a coordinated feel, and greatly admired by this adjudicator. Planting in the Cloughvalley estate is wonderfully eye-catching, in particular, the round stone planters are very well presented. The allotment is an excellent facility for the town and has developed significantly since our previous adjudication visit some years previous. Lisanisk Lake is nice from the road and there were quite a few fishermen spending a relaxing afternoon there. Road surfacing in the main thoroughfare is to a good standard and the junction at the Kinscourt junction appears to have been recently improved. The expansive unfinished land area near the Recycling Centre looks untidy and perhaps could be screened by native hedging.