HYPODERMIC needles were discovered discarded on the outskirts of Carrigaline.
Needles and medical paraphernalia such as medicine boxes were found at Captain’s Boreen in Carrigaline West in recent weeks.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Seamus McGrath said it was “extremely concerning” that anyone would discard medical waste, including used needles on the verges of a public road.
“This has the potential to present a serious health risk and must be fully investigated. It is unthinkable that someone would discard such waste in this way and anyone caught doing so should face severe penalties,” he said.
Mr McGrath said he contacted the Waste Enforcement section of the Cork County Council and asked for a full update.
Chairperson of the Carrigaline Tidy Towns association Liam O’Connor said they rarely come across needles when they are cleaning up around the town, but last week they came across needles, a methadone bottle and burnt tinfoil on a side street of the main street.
“I have been in Carrigaline Tidy Towns for the past six years and I have rarely come across needles in the town.”
Mr O’Connor said more common was beer cans and vodka or whiskey bottles discarded in a number of known areas that Tidy Town volunteers call ‘The Dens’.
“There are a number of secluded areas in the park; where we go when we are cleaning up and there are always bottles and cans discarded there.”
Mr O Connor said there are bins and recycling facilities in Carrigaline and in the park and it was an issue of awareness getting younger people to use them.
“Littering always happens in the park, particularly on a fine day. There are bins there but these teenagers are too lazy to use them.”
Mr McGrath said that there is an ongoing litter problem at many locations and he was in touch with the enforcement section in recent days about the amount of rubbish on a particular local road.
“We really need to step up our enforcement activities as well as conducting ongoing awareness campaigns. It is not an uncommon sight to see broken glass for example in busy public places which again presents health risks for children and others.”