Inistioge has been involved in the TT competition for 67 years. We have an active committee and a dedicated band of other volunteers. We are proud of our successes to date having achieved Silver Medal status in the past five years following several Bronze Medal awards in preceding years.
We have benefited greatly from our involvement in the Entente Florale Europa competition in 2018, in which were awarded a Gold Medal. We represented County Kilkenny in the National Pride of Place Awards in 2019 and this year we were delighted to be chosen to compete in the Ireland’s Best Kept Competition and had been looking forward to that. Then we all know what happened. (We look forward to competing in 2021).
In normal years meetings are held every month from February until October and bi-monthly during the winter months.
We also meet weekly, every Saturday morning during spring and summer implementing our work schedule and discussing any matters that may have arisen. Saturday mornings involve weeding, planting, maintenance of any kind, litter picking. We can count on extra volunteers coming to help for specific tasks i.e. cleaning and painting, during the week especially on Monday evenings.
New residents are made aware of our work through the Inistioge.ie website, and our own Facebook page and the Parish Newsletter. Notices of all events are posted in the shop and Post Office and on the Notice Board at Cois Abhann Centre. New members are very welcome.
A number of new residents are now active TT volunteers and 4 are committee members.
The Covid 19 public health emergency had us socially and physically isolating to protect each other. Every business in Inistioge was closed, except our excellent, and vital, local shop and Post Office. On 25th March, our CE workers were stood down as not doing ‘vital’ work. Our concerns on how to maintain the village and its extensive public spaces without their input were addressed that evening when two workers offered to return as volunteers for the duration of the emergency. This was/is community, Inistioge-style. Other volunteers worked individually to maintain areas, our Hon Sec Rosemary working away in the Millennium Garden or the long borders at the River Park becoming a welcome sight in our deserted village.
We were of course blessed that within metres of our front doors we had the most beautiful river and woodland walks. Woodstock Gardens walks were open and mercifully well-within the 2 km limit. Never a more beautiful spring. Never a spring so much appreciated. We know how fortunate we were in a time that was so much harder for so many.
At the height of the lockdown in March and April, the strong links that maintain our community and TT work were unbroken. The Whats App group was a great source of information, fun and support. The social highlight for many of us was the socially-distanced queue at the organic fruit and veg van which we arranged to call to the village once a week.
A socially-distanced committee meeting in the car park on 23rd March decided that the colours of our displays, window boxes and hanging baskets would be needed more than ever this spring and summer, despite so few visitors and, of course, no TT judges. It was the right decision, even if all our fund-raising opportunities have disappeared. So as restrictions were lifted we welcomed the opportunity to get back to a bit of socially-distanced weeding, planting, watering, painting and the socially-distanced cuppa afterwards. It has been a happy return to something like normality.
We were cheered too by the commencement on 2nd June of renewal works by KK County Council on the Square and River Park under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. It was something of a blessing that the works continued while visitor numbers were so low. With the completion of the universally-accessible paths at the River Park and the installing of new picnic tables and seating it was very moving to see how they were well-used by families and friends for meetings in the open air. When the Old School House Café opened for takeaway, we had a semblance of the way Inistioge has always been enjoyed, a welcoming beautiful, historic riverside village with residents who love sharing their special place with visitors.
Tel: 087 756 7172
Tidy Towns Adjudication Reports – Inistioge