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Most tourist towns cleaner than ever... but one Dublin suburb named first litter blackspot in years

Kilkenny comes out on top in the latest cleanliness survey for the group Irish Business Against Litter.

litterchartresult Source: IBAL

IRELAND’S MAIN TOURIST towns and cities are cleaner than ever, according to the latest survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).

Kilkenny came out on top in the rankings for the fifth time, followed by Athlone and Killarney.

For the first time in three years, however, one area was graded as a “litter blackspot” with Ballymun scoring one of the worst rankings since the league tables began 17 years ago. 

An Taisce assessed litter levels in 40 towns and cities on behalf of IBAL. It noted generally that Dublin, Galway and Cork city centres all registered high on the cleanliness ratings.

In all, fourteen towns were considered to be “cleaner than European norms” in the survey ahead of the peak season for visitors to come to Ireland. This included Newbridge, Portlaoise, Tralee, Ballina, Letterkenny and Roscommon. 

After coming out on top in the previous edition of the rankings, Fermoy is down to 10th place but still rated cleaner than European norms.

IBAL’s Conor Horgan said: “Today’s tourists demand high levels of cleanliness and these results indicate that’s what they will be getting this year when they come to Ireland.

It is also important that their first impression be a good one, so it’s pleasing to see the roads around Dublin Airport are again to Clean to European norms.

Only nine of the 40 areas surveyed ranked as littered. Alongside Ballymun, Dublin’s north inner city was rated “seriously littered”.

The examiner noted it was “especially disappointing that sites which had been top ranking in previous surveys were littered”.

Horgan added: “However, as the Ballymun and other results show, there has been little if any progress in disadvantaged areas of our cities. The gap between these areas and the commercial high-footfall commercial city centres is widening.”

IBAL said that dumping continues to feature strongly in its surveys and accounts for many of the individual blackspots found in cities.

Limerick city had its rating brought down by dumping in the basements of Cecil Street and an area at Upper William Street. The examiner described the latter as “filthy, one of the worst sites in a city centre environment”.

Other dumping grounds were spotted in Dublin city, Cork city and Waterford.

“We have a perception of dumping as something that takes place outside of our cities and towns, far from public view,” Horgan said. “The survey shows this is not the case.”

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Sean Murray

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