Leixlip Tidy Towns celebrates 50 years this Saturday

Leixlip Tidy Town Association is inviting current and past Leixlip tidy-towners to celebrate 50 years of volunteering in Leixlip Parish Centre on 14 April.

Leixlip Tidy Town Association is inviting current and past Leixlip tidy-towners to celebrate 50 years of volunteering in Leixlip Parish Centre on 14 April.

The event, starting at 11am, will feature the Association’s memorabilia and photographic material. Though informally established in 1962 or even earlier, an inaugural meeting to establish a tidy town association in Leixlip took place in Doran’s Hall, at the foot of Captain’s Hill, Leixlip, in January or February, 1963.

While there is uncertainty as to the exact date in the minutes, Councillor Rowan Banim, a solicitor, based at The Mall in Leixlip, was elected chairman, and Colonel Niall MacNeill, retired head of the Ordnance Survey, was elected Honorary Secretary. The LTTA minute books show that over 400 people attended meetings of the Association over the ensuing years to the present day.

Many more worked at tidy-towning but never bothered with meetings, according to spokesperson, John Colgan. The Association was set up to conform with the aims and ideals of Bord Failte, which established an innovative national scheme of tidy-towning which has continued to the present day, albeit under the auspices of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. It has entered every annual, national tidy-town competition since its inception. It won an award in its first entry, as the ‘best new entry’.

“ Alas, none since,” said Mr. Colgan. Three of the founding members are still alive: Michael Keating, now in his 90s, a retired Vice Principal of Lucan Technical School; Paddy Kennedy, still working as a Church Sacristan, and the Hon. Desmond Guinness, historic buildings’ conservationist, of Leixlip Castle. Conor O’Brien, President of the Association, a retired primary school vice-Principal of a National School, is the longest active member of the Association.

He will speak at the 14 April event, as will the Hon Desmond Guinness.

Ann Buckley is the current Chairperson and Barbara Keogh is the current Minutes Secretary of the Association.

Mr. Colgan said the LTTA acknowledged the help of the local press and newsletters over the years in creating awareness of its activities and contact points for prospective members. He said new members are always welcome.