PARTS of Cork city are amongst the worst-littered areas in the country, according to the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey.
There was good news for Fermoy, named the Cleanest Town in Ireland, but the northside and Mahon were highlighted for all the wrong reasons, ranked 36th and 37th respectively out of 40 areas.
Judges said the northside had seen an overall general increase in litter levels and said plastic pollution was a particular issue.
They praised the work being done in Spring Lane. Graffiti, weeds, poorly maintained shrubbery/grass, broken signage and derelict sites were all listed as issues in Mahon.
“We have seen a worsening of litter levels in economically disadvantaged areas, which dominate the lower placings of our rankings,” says Conor Horgan of IBAL. “What is often lacking in these areas is a sense of ‘pride in place’, which in turn reflects an absence of real community.”
There was praise for improvements in other parts of Cork city, including the North Ring Road and at Dillon’s Cross. Emmet Place, Tuckey Street, Patrick’s Street, Oliver Plunkett Street and Robert Street were described as ‘very well presented and maintained’.
The work of community groups paid off handsomely for Fermoy, which was described as ‘almost litter free on the main roads and streets and completely litter free in residential areas’
Fermoy Tidy Towns project manager, Paul Kavanagh, said the result gave all the groups involved maintaining the town a huge lift.
“This is fantastic news for everyone involved,” he said. “We started on the journey of making Fermoy a cleaner town just five years ago. We are all volunteers and with the cooperation of many different groups we have been successful in changing people’s bad habits into good habits.”
Groups involved include the Fermoy Forum, who represent the businesses, numerous residents associations, Avondhu Blackwater Development ltd and community employment schemes. Mr Kavanagh also particularly praised the local municipal council and staff for their tireless support and engagement.
“We have a town co-operation committee of all these agencies and we all co-operate together to make Fermoy a better place to live, work, shop and do business in,” he said.
Mr Kavanagh cited specific initiatives around dog-fouling and tackling littering on the scenic Barnane river walk as examples of what could be achieved once you ask the local community to take responsibility for their litter.