THE President of Ireland Mrs Mary McAleese has told the people of Tallanstown that they have shown the nation how we can overcome these difficult economic times.
“What steadies us most,” the President said, “as we face into these wobbly times, is community spirit.
“That’s what you do spectacularly here. You consider people. And you never gave up hope and in the end came the victory.
“You all put your shoulders to the wheel and that is what this country is all about.”
The President was in Tallanstown on Saturday to unveil a plaque commorating last year’s win in the national Tidy Towns competition.
Earlier, she visited Ardee where eight hundred people gathered in the Parish Centre to welcome her to the town.
There, the President met members of local organizations, Superintendent Eugene Brennan, head of the Mid-Louth Garda Division who organized the event, and members of the division’s Garda force.
Then the President moved on to Tallanstown to thank the people of the mid-Louth village for the leadership they have given to both the county and their country.
“I’ve just come from Ardee,” she said, “where the children sang a song about never giving up hope.
“You never gave up. You kept at it for 26 years. And I hope this day will be even better than the night you won.
“You might be the smallest county but you are definitely Louth and proud.”
The President thanked the Tallanstown Tidy towns committee with a special mention to Ann Sheridan and Tom Neary.
She also thanked Louth County Council for its support of the Tidy Towns competition “especially Mary Murtagh who has done tireless work over the years” and everybody who had contributed to Tallanstown’s national success.
“It needs a big team,” she said. “My grandmother used to say ‘you make your own luck’.
“You have made your own luck. God gave you a beautiful natural environment. You have made it even more beautiful.”
She told the people of Tallanstown that they have set a standard for the rest of the nation.
“This is how beautiful a place can be when you want to make it beautiful,” she said.
The president was accompanied on her visit by chairman of Louth County Council Cllr Peter Savage who thanked the people of Tallanstown and the staff of the council for their combined efforts in bringing the national title to the mid-Louth village.
Mr Richard Barry, chairman of the Tallanstown Tidy Towns committee thanked the community, the county council, the people on the community employment scheme, the teachers, staff and pupils of the Vere foster National School, the Department of Local Government and “a heartfelt thanks to our President for honouring our village here today”.
See page 25.