Community groups, who have been working around the clock to get their towns ready for the event, say it’s simply too cold for flowers and bedding plants to bloom.
Now they have appealed to the organisers of the event to give them more time to get their entries ready.
Maxine Doherty, of Moville Tidy Towns Committee, say they have written to organisers in a desperate attempt to allow their town to look its best.
“We simply haven’t been able to put out bedding plants and flowers because of the weather – it’s simply too cold.
“We know most of the country is a little cold but we feel we are particularly badly hit up in Donegal.
However Tidy Towns organisers say they must stick with their deadline of May 25th for entries for the contest.
Last year more than 800 towns and villages through the country entered the event and organisers are hoping for the same high number of entries again.
Philip Finn of the Tidy Towns Committee, based in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, said it would be very difficult to put back judging as there was a lot of organising to be undertaken.
“There is no precedent for cold weather but I do appreciate it may be a problem for some towns, especially the more northerly entries.
“However we have such a lot of work to do that it wouldn’t be possible to allow certain entries more time,” he said.
He stressed that flowers and bedding plants was only a small section of the overall 400 marks which towns and villages are judged on.
“There is so much more to Tidy Towns these days. For example, not many people may know that only 20 marks are actually awarded in relation to littering.
“There is different emphasis on such things as waste minimization. Tidy Towns has come a long way since just hanging baskets and flowerbeds and I think towns and villages across Ireland are benefitting as a result of that,” he said.
However Mr Finn agreed to write to the 25 adjudicators who will be travelling across the country in the coming weeks asking them to consider the unusually cold weather.
“I will write to the adjudicators and ask them to keep in mind the inclement weather of late.
“But these adjudicators are experienced people and they known there is much more to becoming Ireland’s Tidiest Town than plants and flowers.
“But I will ask them to keep in mind how some people feel they are at a disadvantage and ask them to consider it when award their marks,” he said.
The winners of this year’s Tidy Towns competition will be announced by Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan at a ceremony at Dublin’s Helix Theatre in September.