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Eight Consecutive Tidy Island Award Wins for Bere Island

The community of Bere Island are again celebrating winning the Tidy Island Award in this year’s National  SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition. It is the island’s eighth consecutive win.  

The island scored an impressive 299 points out of a maximum of 450.  Commenting on the Bere Island’s impressive tally of wins, the adjudicator said “It was a pleasure to visit your island for the first time ….congratulations on your significant achievements to date in the ‘Tidy Islands’ competition.” 

Bere Island first entered the competition in 2001, and achieved its first win in 2007.  As a result of their success the Island’s Tourism and Environmental Group now has a dedicated Tidy Island Committee and have instigated, a year round clean up initiative, which focuses heavily on minimising waste on the island.  Bere Island’s state of the art recycling centre is instrumental in this, and has drastically reduced the amount of waste leaving the island, which in turn has cut costs.  All paper at the centre is shredded and reused by islanders as bedding for farm and domestic animals.  A glass crusher renders all glass into reusable fragments, which is then used in the construction industry or as gardening mulch.  The glass was also recently used to form an art installation on the island by leading glass artists Michael Ray and Marie Brett. 

General maintenance work is carried out around the island by FAS and Rural Social Scheme workers who oversee the upkeep of the graveyard, maintain the Beara Way walkways around the island and staff the recycling centre.  The islanders come together in regular litter picks, and the island school children are heavily involved in keeping their island tidy.

Bere Island was praised for a number of buildings on the island, inlcuding the Heritage Centre, St Michael’s National School and St Michael’s Church, the adjucicator commented “the old school house (operating as Heritage Centre) is a reminder of earlier days on the island and it is great to see it being used for community activities and tourist information. The mural at St. Michael’s National School. was admired. Both church and graveyard grounds are a credit to those who tend for them.  Rerrin Barracks is neatly presented as were Murphy’s Shop/Post Office and O’Sullivan’s, Rerrin.”

A tree planting initiative on Bere Island, using the proceeds from last year’s Tidy Island win was also praised.  Over 500 saplings were planted on the island and local school children were each given saplings to plant at home. 

The school children were also given special praised for their projects in waste management, “well done to St. Michael’s N.S. for achieving its third green flag. We know that all the children are bringing the messages home on how we should be reducing waste, litter, water and energy usage for a better environment.”

Bere Island will be presented with their Tidy Island Award at the regional awards ceremony to be held in Killarney in the near future.

For further information contact 027 75099 www.bereisland.net