Welcome to www.tidytowns.ie
I am delighted to announce the launch of this year's SuperValu TidyTowns competition.
The competition has been encouraging community effort for over half a century and I am pleased to note that even in its 55th year the competition is still growing.
Last year was a fantastic year for SuperValu TidyTowns with a record entry of 855 cities, towns and villages throughout Ireland.
I hope that we can surpass that number this year and make the 2013 competition the biggest yet.
Our theme for this year is to get out there and Help your Community Shine.
This year marks the 22nd anniversary of SuperValu sponsorship and I would like to congratulate them on building one of the most successful sponsorship partnerships in Ireland and thank them for their unwavering support for the competition.
SuperValu TidyTowns is a great example of how a public private partnership can work to the benefit of all in our society. The competition is a catalyst for a huge amount of voluntary effort in towns and villages across the country and the effort of hundreds of TidyTowns committees and tens of thousands of volunteers not only improves the environment in which we live but also helps to build pride in our communities.
My Department has been working in partnership with Volunteer Ireland to grow voluntary effort; their website www.volunteer.ie matches members of the public interested in volunteering with voluntary opportunities in their own areas.
I would ask TidyTowns groups to take advantage of this initiative As 2013 is the year of The Gathering I want to emphasise the importance of presenting our country in the best possible light, as a clean and green destination to live in, do business in and visit.
We want all our visitors to leave these shores commenting on the beauty of all they have seen and eager to return in future years.
I am encouraging local authorities to strengthen their links with existing community groups, including TidyTowns committees. TidyTowns has been improving the environment in which we live for over 50 years and has helped to foster Ireland's image abroad.
As well as the main competition there are also ten Special Awards that you can enter. These competitions are a welcome and intrinsic part of the TidyTowns competition and I would like to encourage entrants to have a good look at these competitions and endeavour to enter some of them as well as the main competition.
Finally, I would again like to thank our main sponsor SuperValu, all of our Special Competitions sponsors, our adjudicators and Fáilte Ireland for their continued support for this wonderful competition.
It gives me great pleasure to wish all entrants the very best of luck in 2013. Go n-éirí an saol agus an aimsir libh!
Phil Hogan, T.D.
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government