THERE was just one litter warden patrolling the whole of Cork city for illegal dumping or littering in recent months, it has been revealed.
Cork City Council has confirmed that there are two vacant litter warden positions in the city and that one litter warden is currently on leave.
The council said that the positions are currently vacant due to staff transfer and “acting-up arrangements”.
Local Sinn Féin Councillor Thomas Gould said it was outrageous that there has been just one litter warden in the whole of Cork.
“It’s crazy, it couldn’t happen in a private company.
“The second city in the country with just one litter warden? It is mind-boggling that Cork has been operating with just one litter warden.”
Mr Gould asked the question, why has it taken months to hire replacement litter wardens?
“It is not acceptable, a city of this size to be with just one warden. The wardens needed to prevent and deter dumping.”
Founder of the organisation, Irish Business Against Litter, Tom Kavanagh, said Cork couldn’t afford to go back to the days of grubby streets.
“There was a time when ‘excuse the litter’ was something all tour guides used to say to groups as they were showing them around.
"We can’t afford to go back to those days, we need to keep on top of the litter problem in Cork.”
At a recent City Council meeting, officials outlined the extent of the litter warden service in City Hall.
City Hall management said there were two litter wardens employed, but one is on leave.
However, a recruitment process is underway to ensure there will be four wardens in place by the end of the year.
City Hall chief executive Ann Doherty said: "There is a process; it is not just a case of sending in CVs and picking someone. It is about the scale of what needs to be done."