A Fantastic Day in Clonegal


On Thursday the 25th July 2013 the International Judges arrived in Clonegal at 8.30am to begin their inspection of our village. They were led into Clonegal by a piper and two people on horseback. After short Ecumenical Prayers with Rev. Michael Stephenson and Fr. Tom O’Byrne, the Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council Cllr. Des Hurley welcomed the Judges and the chairperson of The Entente Florale Jury Inka Truxova raised the Entente Flag. Following the Flag Ceremony there was a PowerPoint Presentation in the Community Centre with Ellen; Anna Cosgrove; Mary O’Neill Moloney and John McCabe. Then the Jury and the community visited St. Brigid’s Church and were given a brief history of the Church by Fr. Tom O’Byrne. Then the pupils of St. Brigid’s National School guided the group around their school and gardens with music, song and dance. The Judges accompanied by members of the community boarded the bus for St. Fiaac’s where a brief history of the Church was given by Rev. Michael Stephenson with beautiful music and dance. The group could relax for a little time and were treated to very welcomed refreshments. After about 20 minutes they were back on the road and headed to St. Brigid’s Terrace where they met with the Local Residents. Some short steps away are the Weaver’s Cottages where they were entertained by demonstrations on bread making, weaving and spinning. The restored garden at the back of the cottages was spectacular. Then all headed down Main Street to admire the village in pristine condition stopping off at the newly constructed Community Gardens. Then it was a Riverside Walk and over the bridge to Watch House. Pike-men were on duty along the route! On the bridge everyone was entertained with the singing of Boolavogue. It was onto the bus again and they headed for Ben Mulhall Park. The Judges were astounded by the Ben Mulhall Park and the versatility in the use of the grounds as well as the community commitment to financially sustaining such a wonderful community asset. The bus was boarded again for the final journey to Huntington Castle and the group was given a tour of the castle. The Judges then retired for their deliberations. Just after 2.00pm the Judges mingled with the crowd in the courtyard of Huntington Castle where there was a great carnival and festive atmosphere.

Clonegal was awarded "Gold" in Europe

The Clonegal group with Carlow County Council officials pictured at the Awards Ceremony in Nieuwpoort, Belgium,
Friday 27th September 2013

The Community in Clonegal was ecstatic at the award of a Gold medal in Europe. Clonegal represented Ireland (Village Category) in the Entente Florale Competition across 11 European countries. The community in Clonegal reached a very high standard and is very proud of what has been achieved. Clonegal was honoured to have represented Ireland and is so please to have done the very best for our country. Gold could never have been achieved without the support, encouragement and direction of the Community & Enterprise Department of Carlow County Council, under the Leadership of Director of Services Bernie O'Brien and her team including Anna Byrne & Jannette O'Brien. A thank you is also due to the Community in Clonegal, Tidy Village Association and the Steering Committee for all the hard work in preparation for the great event.

To view the assessment Report please click here
To view the Entente Florale results please click here

We hope you enjoy a selection of photos of the day below:

The above photographs are courtesy of Steve Taylor

To view other photos of the Festival Day please click here

Clonegal represented the Country!

Clonegal was nominated by The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to represent Ireland in the Village category of the 2013 European Entente Florale Competition. Each year one village and one town in Ireland are selected to represent their country in one of Europe’s most prestigious competitions, so it was a great honour for the people of Clonegal to have their village chosen to represent Ireland. Eleven countries competed in this competition including: Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic and Ireland. This project was co-ordinated through the Community & Enterprise Department of Carlow County Council, under the Leadership of Director of Services Bernie O'Brien and her team including Anna Byrne & Jannette O'Brien.

Why Clonegal?

Clonegal often has been referred to as the “Switzerland of Ireland”. Cradled in the
valley between the Blackstairs and Wicklow Mountains and straddling the meeting place of the rivers Slaney and Derry, Clonegal hosts breath taking views of an unspoiled natural beauty.
This beautiful village has a tremendous respect for its history and Heritage which spans many centuries, but yet the proactive community of Clonegal continues to go from strength to strength over the years.
Clonegal has taken part in the National Co Operation Ireland Pride of Place platform, as well representing the County in Washington USA at Nations in Bloom. The Community has been working tirelessly on the Tidy Towns programme for over 20 years, which has resulted in attaining and maintaining Gold medal status in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013.
It is no surprise that the village and its warm community were selected to represent the Country in the Entente Florale International Competition 2013

Clonegal took part in Entente Florale?

To be chosen to represent your County is an honour and Clonegal had the opportunity to perform on an international stage.

Participation in Entente Florale is a wonderful occasion for all of the community to get involved play your part, no matter how big or small, for your area, as well as an opportunity to learn something new about where you live.
There are terrific opportunities to showcase the Village and all of the wonderful things it has to offer to a wider European audience, which has a huge Tourism potential to the area.
Visit Entente Florale website: http://www.entente-florale.eu/