What the Tidy Towns judges said about Shinrone

Shinrone achieved a total of 282 marks in this year's Tidy Towns competition

Express Reporter

Reporter:

Express Reporter

Tidy Towns

Tidy Towns

Shinrone increased its marks by four points in this year's Tidy Towns competition.

Community Involvement & Planning / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:
Shinrone is very welcome to the 2017 Supervalu Competition.
Thank you for the comprehensive application form complete 2016-2018 plan and also map which indicated areas
relevant to your application but could be improved upon for next year.
Within in your ranks you may have somebody with some mapping skills that could produce a more distinctive
offering with colour coded sections.
A committee of 15 can at times be a bit unwieldy and the adjudicator would suggest that you have an executive of
four max and then divide the remainder into three sub committees with responsibility for different categories of the
competition.
If you feel 15 as a main committee works for you well who am I to question its effectiveness.
The level of support that you get from local community indicates that you are doing a good job in fostering the
development of the village through Tidy Towns.
The committee has recognised the benefit of the TUS scheme to the village in that quite a section of your planned
work involves TUS workers.
Your level of interaction with Offaly County Council also seems to have paid dividends.
It’s important that these links are maintained and fostered into the future
Involving the local school in your activities, especially areas such as litter control, bio diversity and other
environmental projects, is the key to maintaining the link as they go through to second level.
Communication methods are a mix of old and new and seem to have the desired effect in spreading the gospel of
tidy towns to the community.
The number of local organisations that you engage with is impressive and it’s good to see that the active retired
fraternity are involved in your work.
Thank you for your endorsement of the competition and what it means to the local community.


Built Environment and Streetscape / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:
The input under this section in your application leans somewhat more to what is planned more than what is actually
completed since last year,PJ Doyle memorial being the exception.
The adjudicator accepts that the leasing process with private residents and commercial property owners is an
ongoing activity.
This PJ Doyle commemorative memorial has been transformed since this adjudicator last visited Shinrone some
years back, well done to all who contributed to this.
The Grotto, which is very impressive, was presented very well maintained and presented and credit is due to
whoever is entrusted with looking after.
The Community Centre,which is quite large and expansive for a small rural village, was well presented overall but
the boundary wall of the adjacent car parking area was in need of painting as it looked a little tatty.
The Mixed National School across the road was in very good condition with a large congregation and play area in
the front
The Village History notice board was clean unlike many encountered around the country and it gives a brief history
of Sui an Roin for those who would not be familiar with the area.
The Health Centre building was clean and looked as if it was recently painted but the inside low wall is in poor
condition and all it needed was a coat of paint to complement the rest of the premises
Both churches were in fine order and credit to those parishioners that have responsibility for their upkeep.
The following are commercial properties that took the adjudicators eye Liffey Mills which had a tidy frontage and
Spain’s Pub for its long association with the village and the Castle Bar at the Ballingarry end of the village.
The Top Garage and Centra Shop were well maintained also and the forecourt was tidy.
The standard of road surface and footpaths was acceptable.
The adjudicator is aware of the pressure that you are putting on Offaly County Council in relation to the upgrading of
both road surfaces and footpaths and this has been taken into account in this assessment.
For the positive changes that have occurred in the last year an additional mark is awarded.


Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:
Some criticism was directed at the committee last year for not providing details of the actual work done.
This year you have taken note of this fact and bullet pointed the work done under this category.
The new saplings were noted on the Roscrea road on the way in and these were well staked and protected.
You have adhered to the advice given in relation to good practice for the cutting of grass verges.
Whilst the Grotto itself was in very good condition some of the shrub beds need to be cleaned and refreshed with a
mix of annuals and perennial plants.
Some improvements have been made in this category but more needs to be done and looking at the 2016 – 18 plan
it seems that there is sufficient work planned to improve the standing in this category.
No doubt consultations have taken place with Offaly County Council.
Restoration of mark lost last year is merited.


Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha:
This category is all about the understanding and raising awareness of all the natural amenities that are in your area.
Shinrone has an abundance of natural wildlife habitats and some may not be very obvious but they are all around
the village and its surrounds.
Getting the best out of these is the key to success in this category.
For instance you are indeed lucky to have a listed species of bat in the area and will bring enthusiasts for heritage
groups to the village.
This is what creating awareness and promoting the preservation of varies species of wild life is all about.
I would agree with last year’s adjudicator that the church is not an appropriate spot for an insect hotel.
Good to note that you have plans to consider developing walks and that you are in talks with landowners and Coillte
on the matter.
Whilst you mention the National School in relation to specific school projects you should involve the school children
in your project plans under this category.
If you have not developed links with the principal and teachers it would be prudent to consider doing so.
Children are naturally creative and enthusiastic and will contribute in a positive manner to any tasks assigned to
them.


Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:
This is a category that has created quite a lot of concern for committees around the country.
Most were not able to grasp the concept which may have been a little complex.
Since then the category has become a lot clearer and the main objective is to promote “the reduction of production”
of unnecessary waste and to help reduce the large volumes that go to landfill each year.
There is great concern that landfill options will run out in a lot shorter time than is presently envisage
The initiatives that you have mentioned are very acceptable but there is a lot more potential for you to work on.
Consult, if you have not already done so, your local environmental officer for a little direction.
Also consult the following websites www.localpreventoin.ie and www.greenhomes.ie for further ideas that could
activate some relevant mini projects for you in the years ahead.
Doing some research into what the circular economy is all about would be another option.
To explain it in this short section would take too much of the report up but it’s an interesting concept that the
adjudicator would recommend for you to investigate.
The Bring Bank area at the Community Centre was not in good condition and will be mentioned in the next section.


Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
Well done on the work that you have done over the last year in trying to encourage people to be anti-litter it is not an
easy and in fairness as a committee you have identified litter control as a problem in the village.
Well done on your regular pcks and hopefully you will get more people to help you in this important task.
The TUS worker has to be commended for the work carried out as well.
General tidiness was a little mixed to say the least and there were a number of boundary walls, broken fences and
untidy back areas to be seen during the walkabout.
Mention has been made in a previous section of the many boundary walls that were in need of basic repainting.
Simple improvements like this can make a huge difference to a village like Shinrone which incidentally has great
potential to do even better in the competition.
The area around the Bring Bank was in very poor condition with items strewn at the base of receptacles.
The Clothing Bank needs to be replaced as it’s so rusty and not fit for purpose.
Despite your efforts and good intentions this is a category that needs incremental improvement over time.


Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
The adjudicator was impressed with the long established St Marys Terrace and credit is due to the residents that
have presented properties and front gardens to a high standard.
Yes some of the front railings were a little tatty and it is good to note that you are making efforts to have these
painted in the year ahead
The communal green area was cut and tidy if a little devoid of colour.
Consideration should be given to including this area in your planting plans for the future as it is a focal point as one
enters from either road.
Shinrone Oaks and Castle Court were also visited and again the standard of presentation was very good.
The green area in Shinrone Oaks is rather large and devoid of something to make it stand out.
Overall the standard was acceptable and with what you have planned will see further improvements next year and
in years ahead.


Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
The new sign from the Roscrea entrance was noted and that entrance is quite impressive and gives a good first
impression as one enters the village with some impressive private residences to the forefront.
The rose beds referred to in last year’s report have been freshened up and weeded
The road in from Brosna was also quite well presented but the adjudicator didn’t notice if the recommendation by
last year’s adjudicator was acted upon.
The Ballingarry entrance is a little narrower than the others and the verges were not cut back in accordance with
recommendations.
The verges here need to be trimmed back a few feet to make them tidier.
The Cloughjordan entrance is quite impressive as well with some nice trees to be seen as one approaches from the
outskirts.
The new footpaths have been mentioned under the Built Environment and Streetscapes section.
Overall the standard was good.


Concluding Remarks:
It was a pleasant experience to re visit the village of Sui An Roin after a good number of years.
The village has great potential to do even better in the competition and the committee is working tirelessly to attain
incremental improvement year on year.
You are wished well for the future.