State of new Mary Elmes Bridge labelled 'embarrassing' as litter problem continues

State of new Mary Elmes Bridge labelled 'embarrassing' as litter problem continues
Mary Elmes Bridge was officially opened in July but has been subject to wanton littering since then.

DESPITE only being opened in July, Mary Elmes Bridge has been frequently targeted by wanton littering.

City residents and users of the bridge have expressed their disappointment that Cork's newest footbridge, which links Merchant’s Quay to St Patrick’s Quay, is in such a poor state.

Speaking to The Echo, a member of the public who uses the bridge twice a day to commute to and from work described the "diabolical condition" he found the bridge in this morning.

"There was bags, bottles, cans and coffee cups strewn across the bridge.

"I walk on it twice a day and it’s been like this since Sunday.

"In fairness, the council are cleaning the quays either side every day but they don’t want to seem to clean the bridge itself.

"I know volunteers were heading out at the weekend to clean it but they really shouldn't have to.

"I find the whole thing very embarrassing."

From left, Jason J Fisher, Maria Bel and Diogo Monteiro cleaning up the new Mary Elmes Bridge. Picture: Shamim Malekmian
From left, Jason J Fisher, Maria Bel and Diogo Monteiro cleaning up the new Mary Elmes Bridge. Picture: Shamim Malekmian

The volunteer cleaning group, led by Jason J. Fisher, an American Cork resident have taken matters into their own hands and frequently organise cleanups, stating that "it's a shame to see litter scattered about" on the new €5 million crossing over the Lee. 

There have been previous calls to include rubbish bins on the bridge to help tackle the issue, but none have yet been established. 

A spokesperson for Cork City Council stated:

"Mary Elmes Bridge is cleaned twice daily by the early morning crew and twice daily by the evening shift.

"The situation [today] has been highlighted to this evening’s supervisors to ensure any litter in place at the moment is removed.

"In relation to waste management, there are approximately six bins located within a 100m radius of the bridge."

Green Party Councillor Dan Boyle, who has himself volunteered with the Mary Elmes clean up, said he intends to raise the issue once again with the Council.

"It must be extremely frustrating for the volunteer group who are out every Sunday.

"The city really needs to see segregating bins introduced," he said. 

Mary Elmes Bridge opened to the public on July 9 and is used by up to 11,000 people each day.

The bridge which is the city’s 31st bridge crossing the Lee pays tribute to 'Ireland’s Oskar Schindler'.

Cork-born Mary Elmes was a key figure in saving many Jewish children during the Holocaust.

The bridge was officially opened last September by people who were saved from concentration camps by the heroic figure. 

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