It’s difficult for an individual working alone to achieve a goal; which is why a strong sense of community spirit is vitally important. Tomás Kenny understands this sentiment; he’s a local volunteer working with the inspirational and award-winning Ballygar Tidy Towns team, where a unique sense of pride and identity is indispensable, especially when it comes to developing a profile for your community and your local area.
Tomás, who is currently the Secretary of the Ballygar Tidy Town Committee, got involved five years ago.
“There was a need for it in Ballygar. It was felt the town was in need of a facelift. It was a great way of making friends and we know each other now as friends rather than people who live in Ballygar” says Tomás, who’s also anxious to make sure the rest of the caring committee are given due mention and recognition.
“There is a group of us altogether, Micheál Naughten (Chairperson), Nuala McDonagh (Treasurer), Diane Davis (Vice Secretary), Christy Galvin (Vice Treasurer), Stephanie Moran (Public Relations Officer) and Liam O’Malley (Vice Chairman), and we all work very hard,” says Tomás, who could hardly contain his excitement at the town’s great result this year.
His reaction is understandable given Ballygar’s amazing accomplishment in the latest rounds of the Tidy Towns’ Competition.
“We jumped 16 points and are now 287 out of 450 so we’re placed fourth in Category B and we won the Endeavour Award too which is a huge endorsement for all the hard work that’s been done” says Tomás.
The category classification, Tomás explained, is given according to a town’s population. “Over 500 being classed as Category B and under 500 classed as Category A, if I’m correct, and we actually jumped higher and got the highest points increase in the county of Galway.”
The award provided great excitement and a welcome boost to morale in this beautiful town, however, there were no wild celebrations when the results were announced as these faithful stalwarts of the community commemorated their town’s achievements by tending to their area’s showpieces.
“We’re delighted – and would you believe, we celebrated by watering flowers! We have our 50/50 draw to raise funds on a Saturday night so I’m sure we will celebrate then” says Tomás.
On behalf of the committee, Tomás wishes to extend gratitude to “all of the volunteers who come out all year ‘round, to the sub-committees, to all the residents and businesses and to all of the primary and secondary school staff, teachers and pupils. Thank you for all of your help.”