Rathangan and Monasterevin win prestigious River Barrow awards

Achievements acknowledged

Leinster Leader reporter

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Rathangan and Monasterevin win prestigious River Barrow awards

Rathangan Tidy Town's Committee with Waterways Ireland Trophy

Rathangan and Monasterevin were amongst the big winners at this year’s Barrow Awards Scheme 2017 at a special ceremony in the Seven Oaks Hotel in Carlow last week.  

The Barrow Awards Scheme rewards towns and villages along the River Barrow for maintaining and enhancing the natural resources of the river and also encourages communities to develop more amenities for the enjoyment of all river users.

The 2017 awards, held on on Wednesday, October 25, were organised in co-operation with the local authorities in Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois and Wexford and Waterways Ireland.

Kildare featured strongly amongst the overall list of competition entrants and in the prize winners category.  

Rathangan Tidy Towns Committee received first prize in the short term category for completion of an impressive seven projects, all focused on the presentation of the River Barrow in this picturesque town, where the river and waterway system is a central feature.

Some included the landscaping of the green area adjacent to the main river bridge, known locally as the Pound, which improved the area considerably for tourists and nature lovers.

Significant work was undertaken including the resurfacing of the existing path, planting and erection of new seating.

Other projects included the enhancement of the Maura Laverty flowerbed memorial and William A. Byrne memorial, both enjoying long associations with the town.

A significant bio-diversity project focused on the provision of swift nest boxes, frog and bat monitoring and a research project on wildlife and local history in partnership with James Madison University, USA.

New entrants to the competition Monastervin scooped the “Best in County Kildare” prize for their initial work on the development of a looped trail showing the scenic canals and bridges on the River Barrow in Monastervin.

Chairman of the judging panel, Arthur Keppel, President Barrow Branch, Inland Waterways Association of Ireland commented “a lot of fantastic work is being carried out by entrants on a daily basis along the River Barrow for the benefit of locals and visitors to the area.  Having events like the Barrow Awards Scheme is a way of saying thanks and recognising groups for their trojan and continuous efforts which so greatly enhance the appearance of the river”.