Kerry is king when it comes to being litter-free, but Dublin still has a capital problem with rubbish, according to the latest survey by by the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) group.
The survey, which checks the litter status of towns and cities, has found that, in general, most places in the country are cleaner than in previous year, with 75% of areas as least as clean as European norms.
Killarney is the country’s cleanest town, with the IBAL survey placing its near neighbour Tralee in third place, while Dungarvan in Co Waterford is ranked second best nationally.
No towns were branded as ‘blackspots’ or ‘seriously littered’, with marked improvements in areas such as Dublin’s North Inner City and Farranree in Cork City, both of which have now reached ‘littered’ status.
Yet those improvements still mean both areas are listed among the five most littered parts of the country, alongside Portlaoise, Athlone and Dublin City. Farranree is ranked the most littered of all 40 areas surveyed.
Sixteen areas, led by Killarney, are ranked as being ‘cleaner than European norms’, including Roscommon, Waterford City, Kilkenny, Wexford, Dun Laoghaire and Fermoy.
In the next tier are 14 areas ranked as being clean to European norms, a group that includes Limerick City, Castlebar, Sligo, Letterkenny and Cork City.
Five areas are ranked as being ‘moderately littered’, including Galway City, Tallaght and Midleton, ahead of the last group rated as being ‘littered’.
The survey is carried out by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL and also looks at connecting roads between 34 towns, observing a general improvement in the amount of litter that can be seen.
Conor Horgan of IBAL praised the efforts of local communities and local authorities in cleaning up litter, but said more work was needed.
“Unfortunately, for Ireland to project a clean image, we need our capital city to be free of litter, and this year we are seeing a deterioration in cleanliness levels in Dublin City Centre, and indeed several roads around Dublin Airport, where most of our visitors enter the country,” he said.