Boyle has once again increased its mark in the annual Tidy Towns competition which was announced on Monday.
Judging was conducted on Saturday June 29th 2019.
The town is listed in ‘Category D’ and increased it’s mark by 5 points to 294 from 289 in 2018 (The 2017 figure was 285).
The gains were made in Streetscapes and Public Places (1), Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality (1), Tidiness and Litter Control (1), Residential Streets and Housing (1) and Approach Roads, Streets and Lanes (1).
Below is the adjudicators report on Boyle:
Community – Your Planning and Involvement / An Pobal – Pleanáil agus Rannpháirtíocht:
Thank you very kindly for your entry form and the accompanying map and the adjudicator was very pleased to be back in the historic and heritage town of Boyle as it has been some time since he last visited.
You seem to have added to your committee number since last year and this positive as a Town the stature of Boyle needs a strong and proactive Tidy Towns Committee.
Hopefully you will be able to add to this number over the coming years.
A volunteer core of up to 30 is quite an impressive number of people to be able to call upon to do practical tasks. You have strong links with Roscommom County Council, other relevant agencies and most importantly the Town Team of Boyle who probably act in a similar capacity as a Chamber of Commerce.
The methods of communication are varied and relevant to your needs and one notes that you use BoyleToday.com as a social media platform.
This has a good up-to-date presence online.
Whatsapp is also a good mechanism to get your message out to the volunteer group and it saves time and cost provided potential recipients are on the said medium.
Last year’s report referred to the fact that you were in the throes of forming a Junior Tidy Towns Committee. What’s the up-to-date position on that one?
The adjudicator would reiterate what was stated in last year’s report in relation to the preparation of a 2/3 year work plan.
A work plan gives a committee focus and deadlines to work to; it doesn’t have to be elaborate just something that one can measure your work progress over a period of time.
20 years entering the competition is an achievement in its own right so well done on this.
Streetscape & Public Places / Sráid-Dreach & Áiteanna Poiblí:
The Regeneration Plan for Boyle has been well publicised and it’s wonderful to see that this historic town will be subject to a raft of positive changes as part of this regeneration.
This programme is being driven by the Boyle Town Team and the adjudicator is wondering what input has the Tidy Towns Committee in the process.
Your links with Boyle Town Team need to be explained in more detail for next year’s competition.
During the adjudication day the old Royal Hotel, which was required by Roscommon County Council for a €100k, looked as if it was up for sale again as a for sale sign was posted up on the Gable end wall!
Local knowledge has it that it will not be retained as a hotel and that it was originally built on a flood plain.
Rather confusing to say the least.
The following are a number of other observations made by the adjudicator that appealed for a number of reasons and that were commented upon in line with the adjudication guidelines.
Much activity was taking place at the GAA Grounds on Abbeytown Road as the All Ireland Feile U 14 Football Finals were taking place.
This area of the town was very well presented and of course has Boyle Abbey as the towns main historical focal points.
St Josephs RC Church and expansive parking area and grounds were presented in exemplary fashion
It looks as if the existing Bell Tower, mentioned in last year’s report, is due to be replaced by a new judging from the planning notice that was recently put in place
Schools in this area were also well locked after but the parking area at the Rehab premises was a little rough and would benefit from a bit of basic re surfacing.
The memorial and information panel for Stewarts Diesel Engine at the exit for Tubbercurry is an interesting historical artefact and it has a nice planting arrangement to add effect.
Sean Clarke Car Sales Premises nearby is a good example of a tidy and well run establishment, well done to the owners for the manner in which they have presented their premises.
Patrick Street has a number of what seems to be unoccupied premises that could fall into a further state of affairs if not addressed.
One assumes that the Committee is aware of problem that bedevils most towns and villages.
Maybe consultation with the Town Team on the matter is the first step on this one.
Not easily solved and in most cases outside the remit of any voluntary group.
The following is a cross section of shop fronts that engaged the adjudicator for one reason or another:
James Clarke a licensed premises and restaurant synonymous with Boyle and on the aforementioned Patrick Street was very well presented.
The Spool Factory a modern co working hub of substance fits very well with the existing built infrastructure.
McDonough’s on Bridge Street has a very fine shop front, simple in design but very appealing.
Wynnes Bar on Main Street was festooned with Rossies bunting and flags.
Duggan’s Pharmacy, Boles, Boyle Country Meats and the very impressive W J Sloan Hardware all deserve mention for the manner they have presented their business premises.
The Crescent area of the town which is the hub of activity has an array of well appointed shops, cafes and bars that were very well presented also.
The adjudicator visited the King House and embraced its history and to finish off the visit had a very nice relaxing coffee at the excellent cafe on the grounds.
The adjudicator also noted the house where actress Maureen O Sullivan was born and McNamara’s nearby has an interesting history as it was originally old RIC Barracks.
The road surfaces, footpaths and street lighting were in the main in good condition and the skyline is clear of unsightly telephone wires which one assumes were all put underground over time.
Overall the standard under the guidelines of the competition was very good and merits an increase in marks.
Spaces and Landscaping / Spásanna Glasa agus Tírdhreachú:
The planting arrangement that included an abundance of lavender at the Stewart Diesel Engine was well maintained.
The information panel giving a history of the Stewart Family and its association with the diesel engine added to the attractiveness of that corner area.
The Crescent has an abundance of colour with the combination petunias and begonias amongst others seen at their very best on the day in question.
It was good to note that you use replaceable pots to ensure all year round effectiveness.
The Shilling Hill Roses were admired by the adjudicator when he visited the Abbey Town area of Boyle.
The hanging baskets that you mention were noted as one traversed both the centre and the immediate side streets. Many businesses have taken it upon themselves to provide additional window boxes and this added to the colour that emblazoned the town on what was a very fine summers day with an odd shower thrown in for good measure. The entreaties or entrances to the town will commented upon in the last category.
The adjudicator did notice that one or two shrub beds were either struggling or a little overpopulated with shrubs that need to be thinned back.
One would concur with last year’s adjudicator in that it would benefit the town if the Committee could set the wheels in motion to find a suitable location to have its own poly tunnel.
Could you meet with the Town Team to discuss the idea and maybe get both the scouts and the Men’s Shed involved as well.
While on the subject the Men’s Shed Group could also be asked if they would consider making suitable timber tree boxes and planters.
You might consider these options as part of a mini planting plan that thhis adjudicator thinks is needed for the town.
Overall the standard was good but there is more potential to be realised in this category.
Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality / An Dúlra agus an Bhithéagsúlacht i do cheantar:
Well done on taking the initiative to set up a sub group in this category and we look forward to seeing developments in the coming year.
You have mentioned a few areas that you will concentrate on when your group has put together a plan of action. You’re very lucky to have a myriad of wildlife habitats available to you and during his walkabout the adjudicator took in a number of these.
The number one wildlife attribute that you have is the wonderful Boyle River.
The adjudicator had stopped at Knockvicar Bridge to view the river in all its splendour.
Much of the project work of the proposed bio diversity group will evolve from the river and its banks
But it is important to state that sustainability will be the key and what you are going to do under work in progress for the years ahead will cement that sustainability.
Liaising with your Heritage and Environmental Officers as well as the Conservation Ranger of Roscommon County Council would also be beneficial to you as you will obtain the proper advice on how to structure the group and identify potential mini projects.
It is also important that you engage with the schools on this one as school children both primary and second level bring an enthusiasm and no little knowledge as well as making a contribution to their quest to attain further Green School Programme accolades.
Consider being part of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan
Biodiversity Ireland www.biodiversityireland.ie is an excellent source for additional information and direction. As is the National Parks and Wildlife Service www.npws.ie
The key overall issues in respect of this adjudication category are – Education-knowledge of local species and habitats and knowledge of local designated areas (SACs, SPAs, NHAs). Conservation – maintaining of important wildlife areas and implementation of survey results and Wildlife interpretation that is sustained.
You are wished well with your efforts in this category and having taken steps to form a new sub group earns you an additional mark.
Sustainability – Doing more with less / Inmharthanacht – Mórán ar an mbeagán:
The objective in this category has moved on to some extent from one of reduce reuse and recycle to one of promoting the concept of reducing the productions of potential waste at source such as excessive packaging. “Doing more with less” is a very apt slogan that will be more in the public domain over time.
Activities that describe how as a community you manage waste and promote efficient use of resources and promote awareness is the key to gaining marks in this category.
Not very much to be seen by way of input to be seen in this category but acting on last year’s recommendation is a step in the right direction.
There is far more potential for you to work on in this very important category and as well as that it will gain you additional marks
To get more out of this sector in terms of gaining marks and creating a greater awareness of all things that contribute to a more sustainable environment consider looking at the following websites for idea generation www.localprevention.ie ,www.greenhomes.ie and www.sustainableprocessing.ie
Also for instance there are novel way of reusing old newspapers that have very practical benefits and as a follow up its worth checking 36 uses for old newspapers at www.foe.co.uk
Also something that this adjudicator became aware over the last few years is the circular economy.
It is a bit too long to explain the concept in detail in this report, but if you access the following www.dccae.gov.ie andwww.sustainableprocessing.ie you will get a pretty good idea of what it’s all about.
Let’s not forget about the younger generation in this category visit the green schools organisation www.greenschools.org
The idea of what is called a linear economy of “take, make and waste” is now being seen as not sustainable and alternatives need to be found.
Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
The standard in this category of both litter control and general tidiness in such a large town of was quite good. There are few litter black spots in the town and one of them if I can recall correctly was mentioned in last year’s report.
There was a lot of residue at kerbside on Patrick Street and Elphin Street probably from farm related activities as the adjudicator noted that a few large tractors passed on these roads over a short period of time. In general the town centre and the immediate outskirts have good litter control measures in place.
The committee has harnessed the goodwill of the local community who are rowing in behind your efforts in this category.
You have acted in the recommendations of last year’s adjudicator and put some excellent but simple and effective measures in place.
The cleanliness of the Abbeytown area of the town was noted and this is more than likely due to the work that the local residents are doing under the adopt a road scheme. An increase in marks is justified.
Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
The adjudicator visited a large cross section of housing developments in the extremities of the town. The following are some that appealed for a variety of reasons
Hanley Avenue is an older estate where the majority of homesteads were presented to a high standard
Marian Road is a similar established estate where residences have a pride of place judging the manner in which properties are maintained.
Foxwood Manor a newish development that is maturing nicely and has a rather pleasant hard landscape feature. Erris Bay is nice new development of well designed and constructed houses that also has well maintained green areas.
The work of the Abbeytown/Warren residents in setting up a community garden was noted but the adjudicator was unable to find where it was located.
A summary of the involvement of your committee in this category shows that getting residents associations formed helps your work immeasurably.
An extra mark is warranted.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
The approaches into the town were in the main very well presented, well sign posted and most have nice welcoming name including the Enterprise Town of the year 2013.
Station Road ans Plunkett Avenue were mentioned in past reports as having excellent planting and this standard was maintained this year as well – consistency of presentation – well done to all involved in the upkeep of these areas.
There is some litter at the base of the Failte sign on the first slip road in off the N4 and there is a nice expansive drive into the town on this road with some fine private residences providing an attractive backdrop.
The main roundabout from the N4 was very well maintained and directional signs to other destinations were clear and visible.
Entrance from Tubbercurry good but a part was more than a little overgrown.
Unusual to see a Doctors surgery as part of a farm that had a fine herd of Limousin.
Entrance in off the N61 was also well presented and it had a very nice Failte sign.
Overall the standard was very good and worthy of an increase in marks.
It has been some while since the adjudicator traversed the historic town of Boyle which was quite busy with Feile visitors and others.
The experience was a pleasant one and one will return to have a more leisurely and historical experience before the summer season is out.
The town will benefit hugely from the proposed regeneration plan and you are wished well with that.
More potential in the competition for the town and one looks forward to seeing move up the marking ranks in the future.
(Report is reproduced exactly here as published by National Tidy Towns. Names of business premises etc are per the report)