Half of all litter fines issued in the county’s two tidiest towns

Half of all litter fines issued in the county’s two tidiest towns
Main street, Ballincollig. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

MORE than 50% of all litter fines handed out in Cork County last year were in the two of the cleanest areas in the county, Ballincollig and Fermoy.

Fermoy was crowned the cleanest town in the country in the 2018 Irish Businesses Against Litter (IBAL) survey while Ballincollig won a Gold Medal in the 2018 Tidy Towns.

Ballincollig, which is becoming part of Cork city in the upcoming boundary changes, was also named Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre in 2018.

A total of 501 fines were issued across the 12 month period of 2018 for the entire Cork County.

Of these fines, 162 (32%) were issued in Ballincollig and 99 (20%) were issued in Fermoy.

For the entire area of West Cork, just 18 fines were issued over the year and in Blarney/Macroom just 17 were handed out.

Of the fines handed out for 2018, 267 were paid and 80 were sent forward for prosecution.

Fianna Fáil Councillor Gobnait Moynihan called for more effective deterrents to end illegal dumping.

At Cork County Council Southern Division meeting, Councillor Moynihan queried the figures put before Council in regards to fines issued in the Municipal District of Macroom/Blarney.

“It’s clear to be seen there is dumping going on roadside and quiet country roads, like Warrenscourt, Raleigh and Ceim and Tariff to name a few. Seventeen fines in a year does not seem like a lot issued for such a big area,” she said.

“There just doesn’t appear to be enough of a deterrent to put people off continuing dumping their waste.”

A report from the Cork County Council Chief Executive showed that 2145 fly-tipping complaints were investigated by Cork County Council in 2018 and of this 102.8 tons of waste was removed.

West Cork Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Hayes said fly-tipping was an issue in West Cork and he would be bringing up the stark contrast in figures between West Cork and Ballincollig and Fermoy with the council.

Mr Hayes said that he had looked for CCTV for West Cork areas that proved popular for dumping, such as wooded areas and beaches.

Locals involved in keeping Fermoy tidy have found CCTV to be of enormous benefit.

Paul Kavanagh, project manager for Fermoy Tidy Towns, said dumping in the town took a nosedive once CCTV cameras were installed at key points as part of a nationwide Anti-Dumping Initiative.

“Since those cameras went in the word is out,” he told the Echo. “It is working and the Council are on the ball about following up and checking cameras.”

But so far, Mr Hayes’ calls for similar measures in West Cork have not been successful.

The Councillor also said that it was an awful pity that the work of the council and voluntary groups were undermined by people dumping rubbish and littering.

“It is a huge contradiction, you have people doing community work cleaning up the area and then you have people intent on wrecking that by throwing stuff out the window of a car,” he said.

Mr Hayes said the detection rate for this type of crime was poor and more needed to be done to tackle the issue, but he acknowledged it is a personal responsibility issue as well.

“People shouldn’t be dumping rubbish at the side of the road,” Mr Hayes said.

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