FERMOY is the cleanest town in Ireland, according to an annual survey by national trust An Taisce.
However, Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) has warned that disadvantaged areas continue to appear at the bottom of its league table on an annual basis.
This year, IBAL found 10 towns and cities are littered, moderately littered, or seriously littered when compared to European norms.
These included Mahon and the Northside of Cork City (Littered) which were among the worst offenders.
“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 turn them around,” he said.
The report on Cork’s Northside said the North Ring Road is ‘almost landfill-like’ in places and warned “long-term littered sites that have been repeatedly highlighted in previous surveys are not being dealt with.”
Surveyors inspecting The Maples in Mahon said it was “not just littered but subject to dumping with soiled nappies strewn about. There were very heavy levels of all manner of litter throughout.”
Mr Horgan said the historic development of large areas of social housing “has shaped a ‘them and us’ society and the gap is widening. "Litter is a symptom of a greater malaise and keeping these areas as clean and well presented as the rest of a city would over time have significant benefits. We need local authorities to take the lead.”