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Mid Ulster ‘Blooms’ at latest Horticultural Awards!

Three Mid Ulster villages and one town have scooped a staggering eight awards between them, at the 2019 Translink Ulster In Bloom competition.
 
Ulster in Bloom encourages cities, towns and villages to look their best and boost civic pride through beautiful plant and floral displays. A special results ceremony took place in Mossley Mill – Newtownabbey, with the competition attracting 142 entries representing all 11 local council areas.
 
Donaghmore retained its title, winning the Village category with Castlecaulfield as runner up for the 2nd year in a row, at the annual horticultural competition.
 
Stewartstown in its inaugural year received the Most Improved Village award, as well as Large Village runner up, and Magherafelt took home its first award, receiving runner up in the Town category.
 
Both Donaghmore and Castlecaulfield also took home a Youth award, and Bernie McKenna of Castlecaulfield received the Ulsterbus Tours Community Champion award.

On hearing the announcement, Chair of Mid Ulster District Council Councillor Martin Kearney, said:

The success awarded to Mid Ulster in this year’s Ulster in Bloom competition is an incredible achievement. With eight awards received across the district including, first place in the Village category; and runner up in the Village, Large Village and Town categories, it really is something to be proud of.

This fantastic result is a testament to the hard work and commitment of all those involved from council staff to local communities, who dedicate so much time to making our villages and towns look so impressive.

Special congratulations must go to Stewartstown who picked up the Large Village runner up award and Most Improved Village award, in its first year of taking part in the competition, and of course to Donaghmore for claiming the top spot in the Village Category for the second year in a row.

This is the 21st year of Translink’s sponsorship of the competition. Speaking at the results announcement ceremony, Translink Board Member, Dr Mark Sweeney OBE, said:

“Congratulations to all our 2019 Translink Ulster in Bloom winners and runners-up! You have created the most stunning plant and floral displays, showcasing your areas and making Northern Ireland a more attractive place to live, visit and work.

“Our thanks to all the local councils, businesses, community groups and Translink employees who have worked so hard to improve their local area and make such a positive lasting impression on both local people and visitors.
 
“Like Ulster in Bloom, Translink is committed to environmental care and we’ve been busy transforming public transport to support the growth and prosperity of villages, towns and cities right across Northern Ireland.
 
“More and more people are choosing public transport as their first choice for travel with over 84.5million passenger journeys made last year on Translink services – the highest level in the past 20 years. This is helping to reduce car congestion and air pollution to ultimately build a greener and more sustainable Northern Ireland.” said Mark.
 
The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA). Councillor Frances Burton, President, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said:

“As NILGA’s President, I would like to thank everyone who supports Translink Ulster in Bloom for championing the “In Bloom” message of councils, local committees, residents and businesses, coming together to take pride in the places where you live and work, creating a better environment for everyone to share. 

“These things are now more important than ever.  NILGA wants a restored and effective Stormont as soon as possible, but we are almost three years into local government being the only functioning level of government in NI.  Despite the backlog in terms of legislation, policies and resources, NILGA is determined that local councils are resourced and have the freedom to continue to deliver vital services and investment in the very communities that Translink Ulster in Bloom takes place in across NI.
 
“As NILGA, councils and councillors, the competition helps us to focus on improving the quality of life for citizen’s right across the region, while also enhancing our cities, towns and villages. With the ongoing partnership support of all the councils and our sponsors Translink, the Association aims to build on the culture and future of the competition.  Congratulations to everyone involved for your ongoing support and enthusiasm.” said Councillor Burton.

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