ONE seriously littered site in Ennis, the Kilrush Road, is responsible for the county town dropping from 12th position in the last Irish Business Against Litter league six months ago, to joint 21st in the results published this week.
In the judges’ report by IBAL on Ennis, which found the town in general to be clean to European norms, the adjudicators stated that the front of the Government Buildings on the N68 Kilrush Road was spotless, with colourful flowering. “But, everything was negatived [sic] by the shrubbery areas, which were riddled with a wide variety of litter – sites don’t get this littered overnight – it looks like ‘old’ litter. Government offices – what can we say?” the report stated. This site was given a Grade C, indicating a seriously littered area.
In the IBAL results of summer 2010, no locations in Ennis were found to be seriously littered, and the town ranked 12th of 53 towns and cities examined for the league. In the results released this week, Ennis is joint 21st of 53.
However, the judges in their report commented that this is another good result for Ennis. “There were five top-ranking sites in Ennis and some of the Grade B sites could easily be improved with a little extra effort, for example the car park at Lower Drumbiggle Road, Lower Market Street and O’Connell Monument. Some sites within Ennis were heavily littered with cigarette butts, despite the provision of butt units, for example, Lower Market Street and O’Connell Monument. There was one seriously littered site in Ennis – Government Offices on N68,” they said.
Five locations were ranked as Grade A in terms of litter, meaning no litter was found at these locations and that they were well presented. The judges found that the Church of Ss Peter and Paul was an “extremely well presented site with every aspect in very good order”. “Lovely planting and excellent visitor information notice. A very prominent notice ‘Bin Your Gum, Don’t get into a Sticky Situation, Minimum €150 Fine’ notice at this site,” they noted.
The square off Old Barrack Street was also found to be “a very clean and tidy town-centre square with shops and cafés all in very good order – clean, tidy and attractively laid out.”
The 1916-1919 War Memorial was also deemed to be a very clean and tidy site with pleasant planting and paving, all well maintained and clear of litter.
The individual properties within the Cahercalla Estate were also commented on for being in good order and the large, grassy area to the front was well tended and litter-free.
The other grade A site was the N68 Kilrush and Kilkee approach to Ennis, which was described by judges as “an attractive approach road which has been well maintained. The road surface/signage/markings were in good condition and the overall impression created along this route was very positive.”
Areas deemed to be moderately littered included the car park at Lower Drumbiggle Road and Lower Market Street, which the judges said generally had well-presented properties but was badly let down by chewing gum and cigarette butts, especially outside Kelly’s Pub. The judges also found that the O’Connell Monument site had cigarette butts throughout, despite the provision of a butt-disposal unit. It was also let down by sweet papers and other loose litter. Abbey Street was deemed to be a very well-presented street with individual shops nicely painted, hanging baskets and paving, which were all in a very good area. “However, there was one littered derelict site at the lower end of the street which was responsible for the litter grade. The grassy area behind the railings was poor,” judges noted.
Carlow was named as Ireland’s cleanest town in the IBAL league this week.
In IBAL’s view, a clean Ireland is critical to enhancing our international reputation. “This continuing improvement in a time of cutbacks shows what we can do in spite of smaller budgets,” Tom Cavanagh, chairman of IBAL commented. “We applaud the many local authorities, who have now become more efficient in dealing with litter. The majority of towns have achieved a standard of cleanliness which enhances their appeal as tourist and investment destinations. Furthermore, a well-presented town improves the lifestyle and uplifts the morale of its citizens.”
IBAL is now inviting citizens to submit photos of litter blackspots in Clare as part of a “litter twitter” campaign to alert local authorities to litter-ridden areas. Photos can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and IBAL can be followed at twitter.com/litterspotter. “We’ll be forwarding pictures on to local authorities and pressing them to address these blackspots,” said Dr Cavanagh.