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What an honour to be nominated to compete in Ireland’s Best Kept Towns Awards! This competition is an all-island initiative organised jointly by the Tidy Towns Unit of the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council and participation is based on performance in the SuperValu National Tidy Towns Competition or the Northern Ireland Amenity Council’s Best Kept Awards in the previous year. Adjudication takes place during the month of May and we’re busily working away to have our village looking its best. We do, however, need everyone to play their part to ensure that we perform well in the following adjudication categories.

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The Community Centre in Cluskey Park, Dromiskin, was the place to be on Saturday 24 February 2024 as the eagerly awaited White Collar Boxing event, run by Dromiskin Tidy Towns and St Josephs GFC in association with Dun Dealgan Boxing Club, took place. Over 6oo people packed in to the superbly appointed hall and were entertained royally by 32 local, amateur boxers who gave their all during 16 exciting bouts. In the process these lads and lasses helped raise valuable funds to be spent on local community projects by both St. Joseph’s and DTT.

The six weeks of hard training really paid off and those present were suitably impressed by the boxing skills exhibited as well as admiring the bravery, determination and courage on display from all the participants. Creating a thrilling atmosphere were the dramatic ring entries by the boxers with rousing music of their choice and the enthusiastic roars and cheers of their fans raising the rafters. Ring girls added glamour to the occasion and “Martina”, in particular, was very popular with ringside punters!! To cap matters off, and perhaps most importantly, the fighters were very evenly matched, which resulted in nail biting contests, split decisions and occasional draws. 

Nimble footwork, jabs, hooks, uppercuts and body shots were the order of the day as the skills of the “noble art” were there for all to see. Many spectators commented on the quality of the ladies bouts where no quarter was given in all-action, dramatic showdowns.  Flyweights, middle weights and heavy weights each played their part to the delight of a rapt audience. Bout 16 - a Mochtas/Joes battle - was a fitting finale to a great night as two warriors slugged it out in a titanic battle deserving of the occasion. They left the ring with the crowd roaring its approval.

Boxfit’s Anto Donnelly was the MC for the night, ably assisted by his capable trainers, corner men, referee, medical staff and security. Three bars provided on the night meant that refreshments were not in short supply and well appointed seating meant that all present were afforded top class ring side views. The night was capped off, for those hardy souls not exhausted by the boxers’ efforts, by a disco in the upstairs bar. All in all a memorable occasion. 

A big thank you to all who helped make the night possible. The boxers we’ve mentioned already and who deserve enormous credit. To Tony and the team from St Joseph’s who made their excellent facilities available and with Dromiskin Tidy Towns volunteers helped steward the occasion and tidy up after. To Anto and the team from Dun Dealgan Boxing Club who ensured that this was a professional, well-oiled production. To main sponsors Country Fresh and Ardee Credit Union who once again were not found wanting when asked to support local organisations and their fundraising activities. To our ring sponsors Global Tyres and Breen Plant Hire and to all the boxer sponsors, fight sponsors and round sponsors – your generosity and support was very much appreciated. To those who provided raffle prizes, those who helped fill sponsorship cards and those who supported the raffle on the night – mile buíochas. To Zoma for their digital marketing expertise and Declan Costello who did Trojan work in promoting the event on social media platforms. To the hundreds of people locally and around the county who bought tickets packing the venue and creating a wonderful atmosphere. And finally to Ray Hoey – without Ray’s drive, enthusiasm and leadership this event would not have been possible. Thank you Ray.  

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History was made at the Louth Looking Good awards which were held in the Fairways Hotel on Thursday 16th November. There were gasps of surprise and shouts of joy from the large gathering when the overall winner in the Towns and Villages section was announced by MC on the night, Mary Murtagh. This category has been dominated for the past number of years by the impressive Blackrock and previously it was Tallanstown, past winner of the National Tidy Town award, that was in the ascendancy. But, this year, Dromiskin emerged victorious pipping their trailblazing Mid-Louth neighbours in to second and third place respectively thus bringing the Tommy Reilly perpetual trophy to the village for the first time ever. How apt it was to see Tommy’s son, Liam, local councillor and secretary of Dromiskin Tidy Towns receive the impressive trophy from Chairperson Louth County Council, Ms Paula Butterly.

This award was the icing on the cake on what was a memorable night for our Tidy Towns group. In addition to the overall award, Dromiskin were winners of the Best Waste Minimisation Project, the Biodiversity Award, the Age Friendly Award, the Tree Award and were third in the Best Seasonal Display category. Adding further to the celebrations was the announcement of Church View, Dromiskin, as winner of Best Overall Housing Estate in County Louth. This was a fitting accolade for Eileen Mulligan and her team of enthusiastic volunteers who have transformed their estate in to one of the jewels of the crown in the community. Daniel’s Take-Away was a local winner in the Shop Front awards.

Chairperson Paula Butterly and CEO Louth County Council, Joan Martin, thanked and praised Louth Tidy Towns Together for organising this impressive event. They also expressed their gratitude to the volunteers from around the county for their selfless commitment to their local communities and for promoting best environmental practices. Sean Mc Cormack, Monasterboice Tidy Towns, was the winner of Environmentalist of the Year.

The delighted Dromiskin contingent raised a glass to celebrate their achievements. Great credit goes to all who contributed in any way to what has been an historic year - a first time silver medal in the National Tidy Towns competition followed by being crowned as best in the county in the LLG awards. Onwards and upwards to 2024!! 

Check out the slideshow above for more pictures

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