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*Photograph by Eamon Ward

Three Clare locations have been awarded International Green Flags.

Active Ennis John O’Sullivan Park Lees Road, Active Ennis Tim Smythe Park and Vandeleur Walled Gardens are among 60 public town parks, country parks, gardens, cemeteries, and green spaces from across the whole country to receive the prestigious Green Flag Awards.

Only awarded for exceeding tough environmental standards in green space management, and excellence of visitor attractions – An Taisce’s Green Flag Award for Parks is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world.

From among 17 countries whose parks met the standard this year there were more Green Flag Awards secured by Irish Parks and Gardens than by any country, other than the UK where the scheme originated in 1996.

Mayor of Clare Cathal Crowe commented, “Our public spaces are key to improving the quality of life for people living in Clare. They also serve to make our communities more attractive to visitors, and in so doing help boost tourism. I want to congratulate Clare County Council, through Active Ennis, and Kilrush Amenity Trust on these awards.”

Operated within the Republic of Ireland by An Taisce Environmental Education Unit, the Green Flag Awards are judged every year by a peer jury of green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, and community involvement.

This year participating countries included Australia, Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Wales.

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