Picturesque Kill has always done well in Tidy Towns competition and would be available at short odds only to be among the best performing town or village from County Kildare.
Straffan, Naas and Newbridge have more than caught up with Kill but the village still won a bronze award in 2013.
This year their efforts are being augmented by 16 year old Karl Maguire who has Down Syndrome and autistic traits and, as a result, likes to be on his own and loves one-to-one attention.
Karl attends Saplings locally through a temporary arrangement and has gone from being a sad and angry boy to being happy and contented largely through the efforts of key worker Paul Dooley, who his honing Karl’s social skills.
Karl loves to clean so when brainstorming to come up with an idea to include him in community activity, Kill Tidy Towns became an obvious choice.
So on two days a week Karl dons a high vis vest and sets off with a smile on his face and a litter picker in his hand.
“The praise he receives gives him great confidence and pride. He has designated areas in Kill which he must keep clean and tidy and Kill Tidy Towns has given Karl the chance to promote his motor skills, social skills and to improve his self esteem and personal development.” said mum Lorraine. It’s good an example of symbiosis - a mutually beneficial relationship between people and groups.