The success of the Athboy Tidy Towns 'Adopt A Plot' initiative can be seen in the transformation of many derelict and unsightly areas in and around the town. Pride of Place judges visited at the end of August and it was, with a deep pride in the community that the judges were shown the wonderful work undertaken by many voluntary groups including Athboy ICA, Scouts, Twinning Association, Blue Jean Committee, Macra na Feirme, The No Name Club and VSI, and many individuals, estates and businesses also contributed.
The community spirit was also evident at Heritage Week celebrations which featured a local interest exhibition and a series of informal talks with local speakers. Community Person Of The Year, Liz McCormack opened the Pop- Up Heritage Display and it continued for four days at a vacant shop kindly donated by Mary McGuinness. The original one hour opening time extended far into the nights as young and old shared stories, books, photos, maps and videos. Guest speakers were Des Whyte, Simon Cronin, Maureen Phelan and John Fox. Information about the men from the area who fought/died in the First World War, Fr O'Growney, co-founder of the Gaelic League, the new discoveries at the Hill of Ward, public hangings, secret tunnels, a second hand chicken enjoyed by Eamon de Valera on a visit to the town and the mating antics of the queen bee represent a small section of the topics covered. The possibility of a permanent heritage centre and the location of Fr O'Growney's statue were also discussed.
Athboy Tidy Towns are currently planning an application to Meath Partnership for funding to support a small dig at the Hill of Ward by Dr Steve Davis whose research was the inspiration for this community presentation.
Athboy Tidy Towns would like to express sincere thanks to the vibrant and generous community of Athboy for making these ventures such a success. Next meeting is on Wednesday 5th Sept at 8pm at the Old Darnley Lodge Hotel. New members welcome.