Fer­moy cleans up in IBAL league

TRI­UMPH TOPS OFF AN­OTHER RE­MARK­ABLE YEAR OF ACHIEVE­MENTS FOR THE TOWN

The Corkman - - FRONT PAGE - BILL BROWNE

IT’S of­fi­cial – Fer­moy is Ire­land’s ti­di­est town af­ter top­ping the over­all 2018 Ir­ish Busi­ness Against (IBAL) Lit­ter League – re­gain­ing the ti­tle that it last held more than a decade ago.

Fer­moy fin­ished in poll po­si­tion on last Oc­to­ber’s ta­ble, prompt­ing Fer­moy Tidy Towns’ group man­ager Paul Ka­vanagh to de­clare the town was in a “strong po­si­tion” to claim the over­all na­tional ti­tle for 2018.

And to the un­bri­dled de­light of the Fer­moy con­tin­gent who trav­elled to Dublin last Mon­day for the un­veil­ing of the fi­nal ta­ble, his con­fi­dence proved to be well-founded.

“This is a great credit to every­one who has worked so hard to make Fer­moy a great place to work, live in and visit. We are all on cloud nine,” he beamed.

“It is now up to us to keep that mo­men­tum go­ing to en­sure we re­main at the top of the league ta­ble.”

SINCE last top­ping the fi­nal stand­ings of the Ir­ish Busi­ness Against Lit­ter (IBAL) in 2006, Fer­moy had be­come the ‘nearly town’ – fin­ish­ing twice in the top three and mak­ing it into the top 10 on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions.

The town fi­nally put that tag firmly to bed this week af­ter fin­ish­ing top of the Ir­ish Busi­ness Against Lit­ter (IBAL) league for 2018.

Hav­ing fin­ished in pole po­si­tion on last Oc­to­ber’s in­terim league ta­ble, hopes were high that Fer­moy would re­main top of the pile.

Speak­ing to The Cork­man at the time, Paul Ka­vanagh, pro­ject man­ager for the Fer­moy Tidy towns Group, said the stand­ing was a re­flec­tion of the hard work done since the es­tab­lish­ment of the five-year ‘Fer­moy – A Cleaner Town’ ini­tia­tive.

“We are now in a very strong chal­leng­ing po­si­tion for the over­all na­tional spot,” he said.

To the un­bri­dled de­light of the Fer­moy con­tin­gent who trav­elled to Dublin last Mon­day for the un­veil­ing of the fi­nal 2018 ta­ble, his con­fi­dence proved to be well-founded.

Fer­moy’s tri­umph topped off what had, by any stan­dards, been a re­mark­able 2018 for the town, which in ad­di­tion to win­ning back its cov­eted IBAL ‘Cleaner Than Eu­ro­pean Norms’ des­ig­na­tion, scooped the ‘Best Im­proved Town’ cat­e­gory in Cork County Coun­cil’s Anti-Lit­ter Chal­lenge and broke the mag­i­cal 300-point bar­rier in Su­perValu Tidy Towns Com­pe­ti­tion.

In their re­port, IBAL judges were ful­some in their praise for the town, say­ing Fer­moy had “ex­ceeded its usual high stan­dards of clean­li­ness through­out 2018”.

“It was notable at many of the sites that great care has been taken not just with re­gard to lit­ter but also over­all pre­sen­ta­tion, with plenty of plant­ing through­out,” said the judges, who sin­gled out Pa­trick Street, the res­i­den­tial ar­eas sur­veyed, and Fer­moy AFC and their grounds for par­tic­u­lar praise.

The judges said it was ev­i­dent that great care had been taken with the pre­sen­ta­tion of the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment, de­scrib­ing the town as be­ing “ex­cel­lent” in re­la­tion to the over­all lack of lit­ter.

Speak­ing to The Cork­man this week, Mr Ka­vanagh said Fer­moy’s tri­umph was a model for what can be achieved when an en­tire com­mu­nity comes to­gether to achieve a goal.

“What struck me was the num­ber of towns that fell down the ta­ble – this is what hap­pens when you take your eye off the ball,” he said.

“We have built up an im­mense civic pride in the town and it is now up to us to keep that mo­men­tum go­ing to en­sure we re­main at the top of the league ta­ble,” said Mr Ka­vanagh.

“This is a great credit to every­one who has worked so hard to make Fer­moy a great place to work, live in and visit. We are all on cloud nine,” he grinned.

The chair of Fer­moy Tidy Towns, Cllr Noel Mc­Carthy, said Mon­day was a “proud day” for him per­son­ally and in­deed the whole town.

“This is not the cul­mi­na­tion of our plan, far from it. Our next tar­get is to im­prove our stand­ing in the Tidy Towns com­pe­ti­tion, some­thing that is well within our reach,” said Cllr Mc­Carthy.

“We have worked hard for many years to get back to the top of the league, and the fact that we have achieved that is tes­ta­ment to the many vol­un­teers and peo­ple whose hard work made that pos­si­ble,” he con­tin­ued.

A point echoed by Fer­moy Tidy Towns PRO Tadhg O’Dono­van, who said th vol­un­teers were “the real he­roes”.

The con­tin­gent from Fer­moy that trav­elled up to the cap­i­tal with the tro­phy the town won for fin­ish­ing at the top of the IBAL Lit­ter League for 2018.

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