The national Tidy Towns initiative was launched by Bord Fáilte, the Irish Tourist Board (now Fáilte Ireland), in 1958 as part of the ‘Tostal’, a nationwide festival celebrating all things Irish. A step-up from the original National Spring Clean Campaign which ran between 1953 and 1957, Tidy Towns rapidly developed its own identity and has gone on to become Ireland’s most well known and popular local environmental initiative.
Right from the start, the primary focus of Tidy Towns was to encourage communities to improve their local environment and make their area a better place to live, work and visit. The competition aspect was an important element in developing friendly rivalry that would help boost standards across the board. However, the emphasis was always on participating rather than winning as the very act of taking part brought benefits to the community. And with a focus on long-term results rather than quick returns, Tidy Towns was soon seen as a unique and far-sighted initiative. The core principle of its founders is – “make your place a better place.”
This competition is the epitome of community spirit – local people coming together to improve their own areas. The competition inspires a huge amount of voluntary effort in towns and villages across the country. The effort of hundreds of Tidy Towns committees and tens of thousands of volunteers not only improves the environment in which they live but also helps to cement community relations and build pride in their communities. Glaslough first won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in 1978. More recently for the past four years (2010-2013 inclusive), Glaslough has been county Monaghan winners and in 2011 were Silver Medal Award Winners and in 2013 Gold Medal Award Winners!