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The Isdell Courtyard, Ridell Hall in Queen’s University, Belfast, was the impressive location for the 2024 Ireland’s Best Kept Towns awards. There were 13 nominees in total - 6 from Northern Ireland and 8 from the South. Host was David Maxwell from BBC’s Radio Ulster with addresses from Doreen Musket, Chair, Northern Ireland Amenity Council, John Smith, Deputy Secretary, Department of Communities NI and Mary Hurley, Secretary General, Department of Rural and Community Development ROI.

Categories included Ireland’s Best Kept Village, Small Town, Large Town and Large Urban Centre. Dromiskin was thrilled  to be shortlisted and nominated in the Small Town section. Winner here was the picturesque Randalstown in County Antrim. Other winners included: Best Kept Village -  Malin, County Donegal; Best Kept Large Town - Roscommon; Best Kept Large Urban Centre - Derry.

What an honour for our village to be included in such hallowed company! Though not victorious on this occasion, we received a lovely certificate to mark and celebrate the occasion. 

Our attention is now turned to the 2024 SuperValu National Tidy Town competition where we hope to build on last year’s success. Work across the village is underway and all available help is greatly appreciated

Check out pictures from the event below:

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Dromiskin Tidy Towns are delighted to announce that they have received funding of €113,400 from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the 2023 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for the Siul na Manaigh Greenway project. The Greenway, proposed by Dromiskin Tidy Towns, would link the existing Dromiskin Heritage Park to the newly developed Ginnety’s Pond Nature Park by way of a circa 260 metre fenced path. It passes through land currently owned by Darver/Dromiskin Parish and the Hand family.  

For a number of years we have promoted the ancient Christian and monastic heritage of the local community. This project links three outstanding local amenities of historical importance – the Heritage Park, St. Peter’s Chapel and Ginnety’s Pond Park. The proposed name of the trail – Siúl na Mánaigh – harks back to an ancient tradition that the monks from the 5th century Dromiskin monastery piously circled the village in morning and evening prayer. Taking us right up to the 21st century, the new path would take locals and visitors past the current centre of Christian worship – St Peter’s. We hope that the Greenway will enhance footfall in all three areas and links in to an approximate 5km looped walk around the village made possible by new footpaths funded under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the recent Sli na Slainte completed at St Joseph’s Cluskey Park.

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Cigarette butts continue to be Ireland’s biggest litter scourge accounting for almost half of discarded waste according to recent research by the National Litter Pollution Monitoring system.  The volunteers with Dromiskin Tidy Towns would certainly agree with this analysis given the number of butts collected on daily litter patrols - unbelievably 330 butts were collected within the core village area on one daily litter pick recently with in excess of 200 collected most days.

Quite often cigarette butts are not considered by smokers to be litter and are also assumed to be biodegradable but this is not the case.  Cigarette butts consist of a plastic called cellulose acetate and can remain in the environment for very long periods of time in the form of micro plastics.  When ingested, the hazardous chemicals in micro plastics present threats to wildlife including birds and plants.  Discarded butts can also leach toxic chemicals into the environment and contaminate our water supplies. 

Dromiskin is pleased to be a participant in Louth’s Vote with your Butt campaign which was officially launched in the village by the Chairperson of Louth County Council, Councillor Paula Butterly and the Tidy Towns Committee was delighted to also be joined by Cllrs Marianne Butler, Kevin Meenan and Robert Nash in support of this awareness raising initiative.

The Butt Box will ask smokers to dispose of their butts while voting for their preferred public space - Dromiskin Heritage Park or Ginnety’s Pond. It will be interesting to see if the initiative will lead to a reduction in cigarette butt litter as it has been proven to do elsewhere in the country.  Pat Mulligan, Chairman, Dromiskin Tidy Towns commented “some people may see the initiative as somewhat gimmicky but if it is a gimmick that creates awareness and encourages smokers to dispose of their butts in a proper manner then it is an initiative certainly worth supporting.  Our volunteers find litter control one of the most frustrating and repetitive elements of our work programme and one that really shouldn’t take up so much time if people disposed of litter properly as required by the law”

Councillor Paula Butterly paid tribute to Dromiskin Tidy Towns and all the tidy towns volunteers in the county who are relentless in their efforts to get to grips with litter despite the ongoing and time consuming challenges faced on a daily basis.

Dromiskin Tidy Towns would like to highlight that cigarette butts are litter and offences are subject to an on the spot fine of €150.

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