Volunteers from Cootehill’s Tidy Towns Group at work in the Community Garden. PHOTOS: ALEX COLEMAN

Tidy Towns group appeals for help

Cootehill’s Tidy Towns group is hard at work as summer well and truly comes to the region.

Monday nights see teams of volunteers take to the streets across the town as part of the weekly clean and spruce up of public areas.

The group has appealed for people in the Cootehill area to come along and help out at the weekly event. They hope people sparing a few hours can help improve the area for all.

Tidy Towns groups generally often say that some people see the upkeep of towns or villages as the job of their local council. Chair of the Cootehill Tidy Towns John Grogan says being a part of such groups helps give ownership of an area to people:

“There is a role for county councils in the upkeep of local areas but at the same time, us as residents of the community have to play our part. People sometimes see that side of it as not their problem but I think it gives people more of a sense of belonging to an area if they help out.”

The group meets weekly on Monday nights to weed flower beds and carry out other work around the town but the numbers taking part have been dwindling. The reopening after lockdown and resumption of in-person meetings and sports training means some people are busier in evenings.

John says that’s proving a problem in Cootehill but they’re hopeful of gaining new members: “We have a consistent group that goes out to do a litter pick on Sunday mornings. On Monday evenings we’ve probably gone from 10 or 12 people to half that number.

“In lockdown people had free time and maybe they were happy to get out of the house, it was something they could do because it was outdoors. That would suggest that people are interested in getting involved but the free time of an evening doesn’t seem to be available.”

Separately, every Wednesday evening in June will see a group gather to clean-up St Michael’s Cemetery in the town. People will gather from 7pm onwards to clear the entrance, paths and graveyard itself across the month.

A similar clean-up will take place in the Middle Chapel Cemetery.