Longford was offiially named as Ireland’s cleanest town at a ceremony in Dublin.
The midlands town had been vying with Drogheda, Dungarvan, Dún Laoghaire and reigning champion Kilkenny for the prize, and eventually won out with Dún Laoghaire coming second.
Sites in Longford were said to be “not just clear of litter, but many were also “superbly presented and maintained,” according to surveyors from An Taisce.
Organising group Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal) said it will now enlist the services of a “foremost artist” to create a prominent public sculpture in the winning town to recognise its success, and all top five areas have been awarded an emperor lime tree provided by the Irish Tree Centre.
No towns were deemed to be litter blackspots last year and just one area was categorised as being seriously littered, and Ibal now counts three-quarters of areas surveyed as being clean to European norms this constitutes a drop of 15 per cent compared to 2014.
Once again, Farranree in Cork and Dublin’s north inner city propped up the rankings, with the former named as Ireland’s only seriously littered town.
Both areas registered improvements on their 2014 performances, but parts of the capital’s inner city such as Rutland Street Lower and Gardiner Street Business Park were regarded as being litter blackspots.