Centre: Claregalway Ref: 1988
County: Galway Mark 290
Category: C Date(s): 20/06/2018
Maximum Mark Mark
Mark Awarded 2017 Awarded 2018
Community – Your Planning and involvement 60 36 37
Streetscape & Public Places 50 40 40
Green Spaces and Landscaping 50 40 42
Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality 50 30 31
Sustainability – Doing more with less 50 18 18
Tidiness and Litter Control 90 58 60
Residential Streets & Housing Areas 50 26 27
Approach Roads, Streets and Lanes 50 34 35
TOTAL MARK 450 282 290
Community – Your Planning and Involvement/An Pobal – Pleanáil agus Rannpháirtíocht:
Cuireann an moltóir seo fáilte roimh. Claregalway/Bhaile Chláir chuig Comórtas na mBaile Slachtmhara SuperValu 2018 agus chuig Ceiliúradh 60 Bliain an Chomórtais.
Your adjudicator would like to commend the map provided clearly marked projects competed this year.
You hold a public meeting annually to determine the next year’s work programme. Have you considered drafting a long-term plan? This would help you be more strategic in your efforts and keep you focused on long-term aims.
Communication is key. You have worked hard to keep your Facebook pages up to date. Emails, texts, newsletters and noticeboards all help share details of your efforts. You also have a dedicated school liaison officer which ensures close links between the schools and the TY students at Coláiste Bhaile Chláir.
Streetscape & Public Places/Shráid-Dreach & Áiteanna Poiblí:
Baile Chlair is a striking mixture of modern and old. Those involved with the sympathetic refurbishment of the Castle (Norman Tower House) should be commenced which attracts many to stop in the town. The nine-arched old bridge was also amazing and your focus on your landscape bed and wall mounted floral baskets looked great. There was some fresh litter caught up here in the flowers but no doubt that would be quickly lifted. How strange to think it was constructed to provide access over a river that was diverted shortly after the ridge was completed! Such nuggets of information were gleamed in the heritage information plaques available around the village.
The stainless steel welcome arch was spotless and shone to welcome your adjudicator. The freshly painted strategically placed building of Malachy Hession’s looked really well.
The Claregalway Hotel was also donning its its window boxes and hanging baskets everywhere. It is suggested however that the two overgrown wooden planters at the entrance to its front are therefore removed.
Green Spaces and Landscaping/Spásanna Glasa agus Tírdhreachú:
One of the main focal points of your work is the communal planted landscapes in Claregalway. This serves to enhance the experience of residents and visitors alike.
As mentioned landscaping around the nine arches is highly commendable providing structure throughout the year.
Do you grow your own plants, or use your own compost?
There are nice beds and planters at the church, but do watch the trees at the church end of the welcome arch as these need to have the support straps loosened. At the roadside of the ESB substation, a lot of begonias have been planted which are not the best for our pollinators. However, your adjudicator was blown away by the lovely lines of mixed flowers on the walls by Hughes’ Supervalu and across the road by the church. More planting ideas are available from www.pollinators.ie
The new buildings at the GAA handball alley look very well. At the far end of its car park, there is some nice landscaping and shrubbery that helps soften the look of all the new build. However, the approach road up to these premises has a very long expanse of a concrete block wall. By allowing some climbing plants such as ivy and honeysuckle to grow along here it would really soften the look, as well as help, provide for wildlife.
Do pay attention to the support straps on the trees by the Church as they all needed to be loosened.
Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality/An Dúlra agus an Bhithéagsúlacht i do cheantar:
Knockdoemore Plantathon Project where the community got together to plant 5000 trees and shrubs, is to be highly commended. A sterling combined community effort.
There were lovely views across the floodplain of local wildlife and a sign on the bridge of the wildlife could be considered as part of your Claregalway Nature Trail. Is this where you are proposing to have the new playground?
Willow tunnel sculptures that like damp conditions could be a consideration here.
Maybe you can engage your community with interactive social activities such as ‘ text when you hear the first cuckoo in Spring in the village’. You know what wildlife you have – now you need a programme of awareness raising activities to highlight this. Have you organised a summer evening’s bat walk by the Castle for example?
Sustainability – Doing more with less/Inmharthanacht – Mórán ar an mbeagán:
This category of the competition is about using resources wisely. The emphasis is not necessarily always segregation but looking at energy, water, transport – all resources – to see how we could better manage these. The green schools include Galway and no doubt embracing many projects pertinent to this category of the competition such as the book rental schemes, reusable lunchboxes, walk or cycle to school initiative. Do you promote local bus services or lift shares for workers?
The Environmental Awareness Ofc of Galway County Council can help provide advice here. There is also an information booklet on the Tidytowns website in this category of the competition.
Tidiness and Litter Control/Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:
Litter control has been a major focus for your work. Gone are the days in 2010 when five skips were filled with rubbish. Residents monitor roads and regular litter control is carried out. Residents also cut back overhanging shrubbery to ensure pavements are usable and monitor commercial signs of which few were spotted in the centre of the village itself, though as mentioned later signage on approach roads is an issue.
The main littering issues in Claregalway are more related to tidiness. These are commercial signage (poor quality, deteriorating and inappropriate placing), cable ties left on posts and bunting on Street posts also.
You are working on projects specifically to engage the many teenagers in the town to help across all categories of the competition. It is heartening to read of their enthusiasm and ideas.
Residential Streets & Housing Areas/Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta:
You are working closely with all resident groups and one of your key project areas this the development of the playground for the community. We wish you success in identifying the best site for this, one that can be easily accessed by all also.
The entrance to the cul-de-sac by the GAA handball alley had some lovely planting in a raised-bed. Here homes also look very well. At River Oaks estate it was good to see the communal lawn area not too tightly mown as allowing clover to grow helps provide for our pollinators.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes/Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí:
New tree planting on the Tuam Road was appreciated, and bilingual welcome stones have been nicely maintained.
On the approach road into Claregalway from the south, the extent of commercial signage was disappointing. There is a lot erected on private fields/ ground behind the roadside wall. A lot of it has become very dilapidated and it is suggested that businesses are contacted and asked to remove these if possible.
The road surface at the setback area of the school was poor. There are great wide pavements in Claregalway, and it is felt therefore you could easily promote safe cycling amongst your residents. Are there cycle racks at the GAA grounds or the school?
Galway Corporate Park had very nice stone entrances and was well managed. Some litter was noticed on some of the undeveloped areas here.
On the Oranmore road, there were a lot of roadworks signs and bollards but nothing actually happening. It makes motorists complacent.
In your 10th year of involvement in TidyTowns you have embraced the competition and have great community involvement with your work – 5000 trees planted is a stunning statistic. Landscaping is a highlight in Claregalway.
Thanks for all your efforts over the last 12 months.