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Tidy Towns Address Jody’s GRAPE Gripe

Following founder Jody Connaughton’s departure from the Greystones Art & Photography Exhibition, his co-organisers, Greystones Tidy Towns, have issued a reply.

And, unsurprisingly, they don’t quite agree with Jody’s stated reasons to be uncheerful.

Here’s Marie & co’s reply…

Considering posts made on social media regarding the Art and Photography show at the harbour, Tidy Towns would like to clarify some of the points made.

It was unfair and inaccurate to state that there were no meeting with Tidy Town representatives. A meeting was held within the last fortnight to clarify and plan going forward for the 2019 exhibition. It is true that the Chair of Tidy Towns was unavailable as this time of year is incredibly busy, preparing for the 2019 TT submission, and does not usually attend these meetings.

There are a number of sub-committees in TT, and the GRAPE group was one of those. All of those sub-committees meet independently and report back to main committee meetings with any issues or decisions that need main committee approval. The chairperson and other committee members do not attend those sub-committee meetings. It just would not be feasible. Tidy Towns is made up solely of volunteers.

There has always been and was common practice for the TT sub-committee of Dave and John to meet with Jody Connaughton and Pat Killilea regularly. These planned meetings were a common feature of the event from day one, and led to the smooth running of the event, where any issues raised were discussed and trashed out.

Because the event is a fundraiser for Greystones Tidy Towns, permission for the event at the harbour was secured from Sisk in 2011. Sisk still have the legal and controlling interest in the site at the harbour. In order to secure this permission, Greystones Tidy Towns each year have to indemnify Sisk for Public Liability Insurance.

To say there is a lack of involvement again is somewhat disingenuous as each Sunday over the summer there were volunteers from TT – this has been acknowledged by Jody – but the implications in the post is somewhat misleading, as the suggestion was that TT merely provide the insurance. It is also worth mentioning that all expenses – e.g. the exhibition frames, signage and banners – were paid for by TT.

It is with regret that the event will not be going ahead this year and we would like to give a heartfelt thank you to all those who worked tirelessly over the seven years. It is a very big commitment, especially for the volunteers Dave and John, as the event runs over the entire summer, from the June Bank Holiday to the end of August. Like all things, there comes a time to say, we all contributed and did a great job to make this event the success it was.

As we said this morning, here’s hoping differences can be resolved, given just how big a part of a Greystones weekend GRAPE has become. You can go explore previous outings right here.