UPDATE: Castlecoote, Co Roscommon is the overall winner of Ireland’s Best Kept Town competition 2013. The results were announced this afternoon at an awards ceremony in Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Castlecoote also won the Best Kept Village category. Straffan, County Kildare won the Best Kept Small Town category, Cookstown, County Tyrone won the Best Kept Large Town category and Enniskillen, County Fermanagh won the Best Kept Large Urban Centre category.

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan TD paid tribute to each of the category winners and also to the other towns that had been nominated for awards.

“Congratulations to all of the winners and all of the nominees in this year’s competition and in particular to Castlecoote for winning the overall title. Being nominated for the awards represents an achievement in itself and is reward for your efforts in the SuperValu TidyTowns and the Best Kept competitions.  These competitions continue to demonstrate the great pride that people have in their communities, North and South, and the hard work carried out by volunteers. Well done, your communities are richer for your efforts and hard work, and I’m sure that you have great joy and pride in being here today.”

Doreen Muskett, MBE, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council, organisers of the Best Kept Town awards in Northern Ireland said: “The towns competing in this year’s contest were successful in the North’s 2012 Best Kept Awards and SuperValu TidyTowns competition in the South, and the all-Ireland awards are the ultimate prize. The judges have the unenviable task of comparing the most attractive towns and villages across Ireland, but they always find there is a good humoured spirit of competition among the finalists.” She added: “We are delighted that Cookstown and Enniskillen have been successful in this year’s awards. Congratulations to all the winners.”

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council initiated the Ireland’s Best Kept Towns competition in 1995 to help raise the profile of both the TidyTowns and Northern Ireland’s Best Kept competitions, and so help to improve the standard of towns and villages across the island of Ireland.

All entrants were marked against strict adjudication criteria that included cleanliness, the outward appearance of buildings, the presentation of roads and public facilities and the natural environment, it said in a statement this afternoon.

The full results are:

Best Village                            –        Castlecoote, County Roscommon

Best Small Town                    –        Straffan, County Kildare

Best Large Town                    –        Cookstown, County Tyrone

Best Large Urban Centre        –       Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

Overall winner                       –        Castlecoote, County Roscommon

Image courtesy Castlecootehouse.com

This story was updated 13.20pm.