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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 23 April, 2019
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Fermoy declared Ireland's cleanest town

Galway City Ballybane and Dublin North Inner City came in at the bottom of the rankings, described as “seriously littered”.

Fermoy, Co Cork.
Fermoy, Co Cork.
Image: David McCarthy photography via IBAL

FERMOY HAS TOPPED the ranking of Ireland’s cleanest towns, according to the latest survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).

Last year’s winner Ennis, dropped to 22 place while Waterford remained the country’s cleanest city. 

An Taisce assessed litter levels in 40 towns and cities on behalf of IBAL. This year, it found that just under 90% of areas were clean, with a top tier of 13 towns deemed “cleaner than European Norms”.

Praising the Cork town as having exceeded its “usual high standards of cleanliness”, An Taisce said: 

“Fermoy’s success, last achieved in 2007, will be marked by a specially commissioned public sculpture in the town this year to the value of €40,000.” 

Finishing just behind Fermoy was Athlone and Killarney, while Galway City Ballybane and Dublin North Inner City came in at the bottom of the rankings, described as “seriously littered”. 

As runners-up, Athlone and Killarney will each receive a number of Norway maple trees, courtesy of the Irish Tree Centre in Cork.

‘Landfill-like’

According to the report, disadvantaged urban areas occupied the bottom five places in the rankings.

Ballymun, Cork’s Northside and Mahon were littered, while Dublin City Centre was again moderately littered.

The report found that Dublin’s North Inner City suffered from litter blackspots on Oriel Street, Dunne Street, Sherrard Street Lower and Railway Street.

Fana Glas in Ballybane was also a litter blackspot, where “an air of neglect pervaded throughout”, with the communal areas “in very poor condition”.

PastedImage-48139 Source: IBAL

According to the authors, Ballymun’s result was brought down by dumping and burnt items at the former Towers and recycle facility at the Shopping Centre, while the Maples in Mahon in Cork was criticised as “not just littered but subject to dumping with soiled nappies strewn about. There were very heavy levels of all manner of litter throughout.”

The report on Cork’s Northside highlighted the North Ring Road as being “almost landfill-like” in places and stated, “long-term littered sites that have been repeatedly highlighted in previous surveys are not being dealt with.”

“Three years ago we deliberately shone a spotlight on specific city areas in the hope that the attention would spur councils and communities into action,” Conor Horgan of IBAL said.

It is fair to say we have seen no noticeable improvement in any of these areas – nor have we seen much by way of substantial measures to them turn around.

“At a minimum, these repeatedly littered sites, often subject to dumping, need to be targeted and cleaned up,” said Horgan.

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Adam Daly

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