circa.4300 BC to 2018 AD
Tidy Towns Competition Adjudication


Adjudication 2016
Date of judgement

   Community Involvement & Planning  / Rannpháirtíocht an Phobail & Pleanáil:    2016

  We welcome Dalkey to this year’s Tidy Towns competition. Your application states that this is your thirtieth year taking part and you stress how this participation has made Dalkey a more attractive place. You are entered as a large town, and you certainly have built up a strong organisation, even including subcommittees that meet weekly. Another feature is the support you get from an environmental conservationist. We note your good awareness of communications with the local community, including articles and notices in the newsletter of the Community Council. In light of its remarkable track record, it is easy to understand why you are so proud of the local newsletter. Ní neart go cur le chéile.   The supporting material you sent us included the map with your project sites numbered and coloured. This proved
to be very useful on the day. You are commended for sending us a map that is fully laminated, leaving us independent of any sudden downpours. This is certainly a first time for this adjudicator to receive such a weatherproof map for the Tidy Towns. Well done and as it turned out we saw the place in the best sunshine. Dalkey’s Heritage map also helped us to locate sites. This is a fine production, especially as it includes an enlarged map of the town centre.

   Built Environment and Streetscape  / An Timpeallacht Thógtha agus Sráid-dreacha:     2016

  We saw the enhanced shopfronts that you refer to and they suggest to us how Dalkey has seen a revival and renewal over the last year or more. The period railway station retains its elegance and it also exudes a certain buzz. The Queen’s and Clubhouse appeared to be doing great business, adding a lively aspect to their surroundings. Bel Gelato was selling plenty of ice cream as we passed by. Dalkey Pharmacy drew praise for its well cared for shopfront. Other commercial properties that our caught our eye included The Magpie Inn and Wanderlust. The Topaz filling station has colourful boxed planters and Eamon Walshe’s garage has a vintage aspect. We note how you emphasize Dalkey’s role as a heritage town and how that prompts you to monitor all new development proposals (planning applications).

   Landscaping and Open Spaces / Tírdhreachú agus Spásanna Oscailte:   2016

  Dalkey is especially fortunate in its rich and diverse network of open spaces and parks. These are beautifully set into the undulating backdrop formed by the hills and the shoreline. Connecting footpaths are another feature that extends this amenity chain and makes it more accessible to locals and visitors alike. It is hardly surprising to find that this colourful tapestry attracts a steady stream of tourists, all adding to the commercial life of the town centre. We saw Dillon’s Park and were very impressed. It has been made more user-friendly and this was proved to us by the number of people lying down on the grass, fishing off the rocks or merely ambling about. We liked the restoration work that enables use of the unusual curved concrete benches and other period features.    Coliemore Park is a real treasure and appears less used. This is perhaps due to the absence of immediate parking spaces close-by, or is it because newcomers see Dillon’s Park first and it’s on the main pedestrian seaside route? We were impressed by all its nooks and crannies, cropping rock and recesses. The 1916 memorial was admired, with the city far off in the background. At the southern end we were much taken with the bench seats affording splendid views down the coast towards Wicklow, especially that seat dedicated to Noel and Peggy Brown who apparently loved the vista. Seeing these intimate parks on a summer day put us in mind of the autobiographical works of your local playwright Hugh Leonard. The planting project at Centra (Whelan’s) is nicely done and we admired the restrained shopfront design behind it.

  Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities / Fiadhúlra, Gnáthóga agus Taitneamhachtaí Nádúrtha :   2016

Dalkey’s coastal location offers a great range of wildlife habitats and your work has covered all these aspects. We were impressed by your knowledge of the animal species present in the area, and how you have engaged in enhancing the habitats that sustain the wildlife. It’s great to hear about the lizard colony you have discovered. We also commend the initiatives you have taken to extend public awareness

   Sustainable Waste and Resource Management / Bainistiú Acmhainní agus Dramhaíola Inbhuanaithe:   2016

    Much of your emphasis in this category is on raising awareness and in getting the school children involved in projects. We saw how you had taken on board the comments made by the previous adjudicator about the recycling containers at Killiney Hill amenity park.   The emphasis has now moved towards the avoidance of waste generation, in the first instance. It gets priority over reduction and recycling. Advice on this topic can be sought from the County Council.

   Tidiness and Litter Control / Slachtmhaireacht agus Rialú Bruscair:   2016

   The height of the summer is when the risk of litter gets most severe for tourist destinations such as Dalkey. For the most part the place looked very neat. At Dillon’s Park we came across a few sacks of litter and waste gathered beside the compacting bin, alongside the northern entry. We presumed these were further proof of your marvellous housekeeping. Well done to those putting in the effort as it has paid off. We found quite a bit of litter around Bullock Harbour.    We note your remarks about the advertising hoardings. They are rather intrusive on account of occupying three separate sites all close to each other at the northern end of the town.  Kilbegnet Close, and the stone bench nearby, were well presented.

   Residential Streets & Housing Areas / Sráideanna Cónaithe & Ceantair Tithíochta :    2016
  Many of the houses we saw benefit from the rich landscape diversity that surrounds them. In some cases that is mature planting while in others it is the marine views.    Bailey View and Pilot View have matured well. Ardeevin Road looked fine but on the sea side there is a long stretch of metal railing beside the railway in urgent need of painting. We admired the planting at Nerano Road, beside the railway bridge. Saval Park Road has nice seating.
Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes / Bóithre Isteach, Sráideanna & Lánaí :    2016

  Dalkey offers many contrasting entrances. Coming along the coast road on the south side we were greatly impressed to see the blue expanse of the sea on one side, while on the other there was the steep green slope of Dalkey Hill. Those arriving by the DART get a very different view, with rock cuttings opening up to show a fine array of period houses set within mature gardens. This high level of streetscape and amenity really lifts the place, making it so pleasant to amble about there.
   Your work in erecting large stone name plaques for the town approaches is commended. These are set in neatly planted spaces. We found the Barnhill Road sign clean and clear, and also the sign at Castlepark Road beside the flower-laden cart. There were bright planters at the Bullock Harbour sign and the visitor information sign in the town centre also looked well.    Your laneway project, off Castle Street, was commended. Very close-by, the other laneway alongside the library was in good order. Including laneways such as these in your work is commended because they extend the understanding of the town’s history and heritage.

Concluding Remarks:   2016
  We noted Dalkey’s contribution to the good health of its people in the Slí na Sláinte walking route. That is now an established feature and a great initiative that hopefully makes users more aware of their great surroundings.    Our visit confirmed for us the strong sense of place that your combined efforts have produced. There is a strong sense of a community on good terms with itself. It is easy to appreciate why the place draws so many visitors.    Thank you for the very high quality of your presentation pack/booklet. Well done.


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