Latest Laois Event: 2022 Green Flag Awards for Ireland’s best Gardens & Parks announced

Latest Laois Event: 2022 Green Flag Awards for Ireland’s best Gardens & Parks announced

The 2022 Green Flag Awards were announced today by An Taisce Environmental Education, acknowledging Ireland’s best public parks and gardens.

Ireland’s success continued this year with four new Green Flag Award winners, three new Community Award winners and five new Green Heritage Site Accreditations – raising the total on the emerald isle to a record-breaking number of 104 awards. This includes three new Green Flag Award winners, three new Community Award winners and five new Green Heritage Site Accreditations. Of the 104 Green Flag sites Ireland was awarded today, 85 are formal public Green Flag Park sites and 19 are volunteer run Green Community Sites.

This was the 2nd year of the roll-out of Green Heritage Site Accreditation across Ireland. With the support of the NPWS and the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, 12 Irish Green Flag sites have now been accredited to Green Heritage Accreditation standard. This is an addition of five sites this year to last year’s total of seven. Green Heritage Site Accreditation is awarded to public green spaces of historical and cultural significance.

Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage; Malcolm Noonan, commended the Green Heritage Accreditation and offered the following statement of support:

“I am delighted that the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department supports and co-funds the Green Heritage Site Accreditation Programme. This scheme, now in its second year, is a welcome and important complement to the existing Green Flag Award. 

The Green Heritage Accreditation enables a larger pool of sites to participate in the programme and highlights the multifaceted nature of our green spaces. The scheme brings together the human and natural aspect of a place. It celebrates best practice in engagement with multi-layered heritage and reminds us all of our responsibility to appreciate and preserve richness and diversity of the green spaces that surround us, now even more important than ever”. 

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

Pictured at Pairc an Phobail, Portlaoise for the Green Flag ceremony , were: Ann Marie Maher, Sport & Leisure Officer, Keith Quinn, Executive Technician, Wes Wilkinson, Senior Executive Engineer and Michael Buckley, Executive Parks & Landscape Officer -Laois Co. Council. Photo: Michael Scully – no reproduction fee.

Once again more Green Flag Awards have been secured by Irish Parks and Gardens than by any country, other than the UK where the scheme originated in 1996. Out of 136 awarded in Europe today, 104 were in Ireland.

This year participating European countries include Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden 

Emlyn Cullen – Programme Manager at the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, who run the Award in Ireland said:

“The continued success of the Green Flag Award in Ireland is a great measure of how much the country values parks and green spaces – and how well managed many of them are. I’d like to say well done to everyone who works in the sector here for their ongoing commitment. You make a huge positive impact on your local communities and the natural environment”

The Green Flag Community Award extends the Scheme to include community initiatives such as Community Gardens, Community Parks, and Tidy Towns Projects. By providing our community green spaces with access to Green Flag Award best practice we empower community groups to improve their local community and environment. 

In Ireland the Green Flag Community Award Scheme is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The Minister of State for Community Development and Charities; Joe O’Brien stated that:

“The Department of Rural and Community Development has supported An Taisce with the expansion of the Green Flag since 2018 into community run spaces. By doing this we have been able to leverage the Green Flag Award values and standards for the benefit of our communities and their voluntary work. 

Pictured at The Peoples Park Portarlington for the Green Flag raising ceremony , were: Samantha Kirwan ( Duty Manager) , Ann Marie Maher ( Sports and Leisure Officer, Laois Co Council ), Clr. Aidan Mullins, Martina Smyth ( C.F.Supervisor) and Leona Delaney (Sport & Leisure Section ). Photo: Michael Scully – no reproduction fee.

I want to thank all community volunteers, across the country for all the work they have done by maintaining the many parks, gardens, and greens across the country. It is a great credit that they have helped deliver this this Green Flag accreditation across Ireland.”

Anne-Marie Toomey from Foulksmills Tidy Towns said:

“We are extremely proud to receive a Green Flag Community Award for our beautiful Foulksmills Park. It has been in the heart of our village for over 35 years and is a place for everyone to enjoy. The Award is a recognition of all the hard work and dedication the committee has put in over the years.”

“A huge thank you to the community and Wexford County Council who have been on the journey with us and have continued to support us over the years.”

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.

Pollinator Award

Three of the 2022 applicants were given a special award for their work supporting pollinating insects. The Pollinator Award is jointly run by An Taisce Environmental Education and the National Biodiversity Data Centre, assessing pollinator-friendly management of parks and community spaces against the recommendations of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, which is implemented by the Data Centre.  

Pictured at The Peoples Park Portarlington for the Green Flag raising ceremony , were: Samantha Kirwan ( Duty Manager) , Ann Marie Maher ( Sports and Leisure Officer, Laois Co Council ), Leona Delaney (Sport & Leisure Section ), Martina Smyth ( C.F Supervisor) and Clr. Aidan Mullins. Photo: Michael Scully – no reproduction fee.

This year, the Green Flag Pollinator Award was given to Malahide Demesne and Talbot Botanical Gardens, operated by Fingal County Council. South Dublin County Council’s Tymon Park won in the town park category, and Julianstown Community Gardens were given the top prize in the community category. Castletown House and Parkland, Oldbridge Estate, and Tralee Bay Wetlands were all highly commended for their work.

Kate Chandler, the Community and Engagement Officer for the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, said: “It is encouraging to see another year of strong applications to the Green Flag Pollinator Award. One third of our wild bees in Ireland are under threat due to a loss of food and shelter, and so we’re thrilled to see the range of activities taking place across the country to support them. We had a number of impressive new applications this year, and look forward to working with An Taisce again to encourage more applications in the years to come.”

For further information please make contact using the details below.

If you are interested in finding out further information about the Green Flag Award or other programmes run by An Taisce Environmental Education please e-mail us at or phone 085 7074573