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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Co Antrim top of the crop as local community gardeners celebrated at Translink Ulster in Bloom

Cullybackey (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council) has been awarded winner of the Large Village category.

Budding community gardeners from across Northern Ireland were commended for their hard work and dedication as the results were announced for this year’s Translink Ulster in Bloom.


In an event hosted at Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon, the popular horticultural competition celebrated the fantastic work of green-fingered gardening enthusiasts across the country and officially recognised the most beautiful plant and floral displays across local cities, towns and villages.


The 2022 Award winners by category were: Large Town / City - Derry City (Derry City & Strabane District Council); Large Town / Small City - Coleraine (Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council); Town - Donaghadee (Ards & North Down Borough Council); Small Town - Randalstown  (Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council); Large Village - Cullybackey (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council); Village - Donaghmore (Mid Ulster District Council); and  Small Village - Ballynure (Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council).


Special Award winners for outstanding presentation were: Larne Renovation Generation; Lorcan Doran from Saintfield Community Centre for the Youth Award; McConnells Bar, Doagh; and Friels Bar and Restaurant, Swatragh.


Celebrating their win of the Translink Ulster in Bloom Large Village Category, Cullybackey- pictured are L-R Bertie McNeilly (Cullybackey Community Partnership) Cllr Frances Burton (NILGA), Derek Irvine (Cullybackey Community Partnership) and Elizabeth Boyd (Cullybackey Community Partnership).

Margaret Murphy, from Cullybackey Community Partnership the winner of the Ken Powles Community Champion Award in recognition of the lasting and positive difference she has made to her local area by embracing the ‘Ulster in Bloom’ ethos.


The Best Station title was won by Whitehead Railway Station (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council).


Speaking at the results event, Translink Chairman Dr Michael Wardlow said: 


“The annual Translink Ulster in Bloom competition is a wonderful demonstration of community spirit and highlights the fantastic work and dedication of volunteers who take exceptional pride in their local areas, big and small. Each worthy winner is a shining example of the true Ulster in Bloom ethos, which brings together knowledge, skill and most importantly enthusiasm, to create beautiful spaces and improve their local environment for everyone to enjoy.

“The awards also showcase the work and commitment of our Translink staff in stations and halts across Northern Ireland in bringing biodiversity, plants and flowers to these spaces. On behalf of Translink, I’d like to congratulate all our Ulster in Bloom winners and participants.”


Whitehead (Mid & East Antrim Borough Council) has been awarded winner of the Station and Larne has been awarded Third Place in the Large Town/Small City categories.

The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA). Councillor Frances Burton, Vice President, NILGA, said:


“The participants and winners from the 2022 Translink Ulster in Bloom campaign have yet again shone a light on the amazing results which can be achieved through commitment, community engagement and hard work. 

“These awards demonstrate the value which the 11 councils and our Ulster in Bloom bcommunity groups have given in encouraging us to care for our local spaces regardless of size or location. Their hard work and the hours spent planning, planting and pruning make a massive positive impact on the wider environment by supporting biodiversity, conservation and sustainability which improves the quality of life for citizens in our cities, towns and villages.


“On behalf of NILGA, congratulations to everyone and thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm.”


Large Village Category Winner- Cullybackey, second place to Ballymena in the Large Town/Small City Award and Cullybackey local, Margaret Murphy won the Jen Powles Community Champion Award. Pictured L-R Lindsay Houston, and Vanessa Postle from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; John Wilson and Wallace Elder, Ahoghill in Bloom; Bill Pollock and David Brown Brighter Whitehead; Lynda Hill, Larne Regeneration, Clare Moore, Ballymena Bid; Cllr Beth Adger, MBE, Dept Mayor Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; John Thompson, Translink Safety and Corporate Responsibility Manager; Dr Michael Wardlow, Translink Chairman; Cllr Martin Kearney, President NILGA; Emma McCrea, Ballymena Bid; Bertie McNeilly, Cullybackey Community Partnership; Cllr Frances Burton, Vice President NILGA; Ald Tommy Nicholl MBE; Elizabeth Boyd and Margaret Murphy, Cullybackey Community Partnership; and Clive Cochrane, Ulster in Bloom guest.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Translink Ulster in Bloom 2023 Competition contact NILGA on 028 9079 8972.


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