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RTE Television

Dirty Old Towns?

Diarmuid Gavin is back with a second series of Dirty Old Towns? Starting in April 2012 on RTÉ One.

This time around Diarmuid is in Portarlington across all six episodes helping the town regain its 'Paris of the Midlands' pizzazz. Elsewhere, the community in inner-city Dublin's Summerhill goes all green-fingered. The residents of Ballinacurra Weston in Limerick get involved in regeneration plans for the area. Cahersiveen tries finding new ways to reel in its fair share of Ring of Kerry tourists. Fort Meagher Camden in Cork flies the flag for becoming one of Ireland's biggest attractions, and the people of Ballynonty in Tipperary come together to create a memorial garden to commemorate the lives lost due to road accidents in their area.

2FM's Colm Hayes is also back reporting on more Weekend Challenges across the country. And there's still time for your community to appear in the series by sending us your idea for a Weekend Challenge project. You can also Show Us You Love Your Town and inspire the rest of the nation by uploading on our website before and after photos and video footage of a project your community has undertaken.

Series 2

Series 2, Episode 1:

PORTARLINGTON
It's hard to believe that Portarlington was once proudly known as the 'Paris of the Midlands.' Today, this market town straddling counties Laois and Offaly is facing major problems, not least the scourge of unfinished ghost estates, neglected recreational amenities and a main street blighted by empty premises. Diarmuid is determined to motivate the community to turn their town around as he sets them a series of tough and creative challenges with plenty of highs and lows across all six episodes.

SUMMERHILL
Like most other parts of Dublin's north inner-city, Summerhill used to be an upmarket area. Today though, it has problems common to many urban places including derelict sites, dumping, anti-social behaviour and unemployment. But now the people living there have a plan for brightening up Summerhill. Local man Trevor is a man with a plan for an allotment garden to bring the community together right in the heart of inner-city waste land. Dublin City Council has given his plan the green light. But will Trevor get the community on board and galvanize enough local support to make his dream neighbourhood garden a success?

DAINGEAN
Daingean, like many other small towns in Ireland, has suffered in recent years with an increasing number of derelict properties on its main street making the town look shabby and unsightly and giving the residents the feeling that they are living in a ghost town. Now the community are joining together to take a stand. This first weekend challenge will see Colm Hayes helping the community to give their main street a new lease of life with a fresh lick of paint.

Series 2, Episode 2:

In programme two Diarmuid follows a community in Cahersiveen, on the beautiful Ring of Kerry, as they try to attract the tourists back into a town that has been lost to some of the many other idyllic spots on The Ring, like the bustling towns of Killarney and Waterville. We watch and wait to see if, with a little push, they can turn some of the negative comments made by visiting tourists into something more positive.

We head back to Portarlington to monitor the progress being made on one of the biggest town amenities, a long river walk. We watch as the community comes together with a lot of spirit and plenty of elbow grease for what will hopefully be a big transformation.

2FM's Colm Hayes takes on another Weekend Challenge in Ballymahon in the lovely town of Longford.

Further information on each of the projects in this first episode:

PORTARLINGTON
In the first episode we saw the people of Portarlington join forces to start to change the look of their town. They came out in unison for the first of their many big challenges, but this week they kick start a project on the main focal point in the area, the beautiful River Barrow walk. But will they complete the big transformation on time? And what could possibly go wrong?

BALLYMAHON
Dirty Old Towns travels to the town of Ballymahon where a local activist is trying to create a community garden at the rear of one of the towns' most picturesque buildings, the Old Dean Egan Library. But community worker Rory Gallagher has no money and no materials to transform this overgrown field into a dream oasis. What he does have are lots of eager helpers willing to roll up their sleeves and dig in. Will he see his dream become a reality or will he be left knee high in weeds? Tune in on Wednesday April 11th to find out.

Series 2, Episode 3:

Diarmuid follows a community in Ballynonty, Co. Tipperary, as they try to complete a Memorial Garden in memory of more than 30 people, young and old, who have lost their lives on a four mile stretch of road. In Portarlington we find out if a ghost estate can be enhanced with a bit of community spirit and lots of elbow grease. And 2FM's Colm Hayes takes on another Weekend Challenge in Cobh.

Further information on each of the projects in this episode:

PORTARLINGTON
In Episode Three we continue to follow the people of Portarlington who this week tackle the big problem of ugly hoarding around the town, we see them give a neglected housing estate a big Spring clean and a local artist hopes to turn a derelict building into a place of artistic beauty. But will they complete it all in time?

BALLYNONTY
Dirty Old Towns travels to the little village of Ballynonty in Co. Tipperary . The pressure is on as a group of dedicated locals enlist the help of a local gardener to turn a piece of derelict land into a peaceful place for locals to remember more than 30 people who have lost their lives on a four miles stretch of road. Everyone rallies around, including a local stonemason and a carpenter, to make sure that one woman's long time dream to have a garden of remembrance, comes to life.

WEEKEND CHALLENGE
This week 2FM's Colm Hayes heads to the beautiful town of Cobh to see how its locals are racing against time to enhance their area, as thousands flock there to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. We watch to see if they can transform an ugly grey wall into an attractive piece of art for visiting cruise liners and we see them enhance the quayside with flowers, shrubs and over a thousand white ribbons to commemorate those who lost their lives on the doomed ship of dreams.

Series 2, Episode 4:

Dirty Old Towns? return to historical Fort Camden in County Cork as a group of volunteers come up with some very ambitious plans to attract the tourists. We follow the progress in Portarlington as they plan a big weekend clean-up. And we see how work is progressing in the old boxing club.

PORTARLINGTON
In Episode Four we continue to follow the community in Portarlington as they try to rally the town to work together for a full weekend to clean up their act. The pressure is on. And we see how Mags is getting on with her big plan to renovate the old boxing club.

FORT CAMDEN
Last year we visited historical Fort Camden in Crosshaven, County Cork, to see a group of volunteers tackle an old moat. Well, this time we are back again to hear their ambitious plans to attract the summer tourists. They are up against the clock, with several big projects to tackle, but will they achieve all their goals?

And Colm Hayes from 2FM will take part in another Dirty Old Towns? weekend challenge.

Series 2, Episode 5:

This week Diarmuid is in Ballinacurra Weston in Limerick to witness the start of regeneration on the troubled estate. But after years of media coverage of trouble and bad news stories coming out of the area- can the community work with the regeneration scheme to forge a new identity for itself?

The episode catches up with all the latest happenings in Portarlington where the locals are hosting a French Festival, complete with a snail-eating contest, in honour of the town's Huguenot heritage. And a major transformation takes place when a building in the Laois town once considered an eye sore gets a complete transformation. And 2FM's Colm Hayes answers the call of Blarney to host a weekend challenge.

Series 2, Episode 6:

This week Diarmuid is in Ballinacurra Weston in Limerick to witness the start of regeneration on the troubled estate. But after years of media coverage of trouble and bad news stories coming out of the area- can the community work with the regeneration scheme to forge a new identity for itself?

The episode catches up with all the latest happenings in Portarlington where the locals are hosting a French Festival, complete with a snail-eating contest, in honour of the town's Huguenot heritage. And a major transformation takes place when a building in the Laois town once considered an eye sore gets a complete transformation. And 2FM's Colm Hayes answers the call of Blarney to host a weekend challenge.

Dirty Old Towns?
  • RTÉ One, Wednesday, 8.00pm