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Lahinch beach which has been deemed 'littered' in the latest IBAL survey

‘Littered’ Lahinch and Doolin slip in IBAL litter survey

THE annual survey of coasts and inland waterways by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Lahinch and Doolin both deemed ‘littered’, with Mountshannon also slipping, to ‘moderately littered’.

According to the An Taisce report for Lahinch while the main beach area was “generally fine” it was the prom, rock armour and carparks which brought down the overall litter grade. “Heavy levels” of litter including drinks cans, fast food wrappers, cigarette butts and dog fouling were reported. Marine litter such as fishing crates, nets, ropes etc along with food items was found trapped in the rock armour near the promenade.

An Taisce adjudicators found a filled black sack discarded by a ‘Big Bell’ bin with other items accumulated on top. While older bins looked “tired” with a risk of their contents being taken out by birds highlighted. The report also noted the “freshly presented” dog fouling facility was in “very good order”. 

Meanwhile the An Taisce report for Doolin pier and harbour highlighted “a very definite litter presence at Doolin – certainly more than in  the 2022 survey.” Almost all of the litter was food related while the most obvious non-food items were cigarette butts.The majority of the litter was around the perimeter of the car park and on the stoney area. 

The report for Mountshannon stated, “Mountshannon missed getting the top litter grade, with too many small food / alcohol related items strewn about.” However, the car parking area, litter bins, visitor information notices, litter bins, life-belts,  etc were “freshly presented”. 

The study of 33 areas nationwide revealed our most littered areas to have cleaned up but the majority of beaches falling short of clean status, despite the unsettled summer meaning lower visitor numbers.

Beaches, harbours, rivers and their immediate environs were monitored by An Taisce in June and July. While there was a 50% rise in clean sites overall, the survey again found our coastal areas to be more littered than our towns, which IBAL researches as part of its Anti-Litter League programme.

Over an unsettled summer, where our beaches attracted far fewer numbers than normal, one might have expected the majority to be virtually free of litter,” says Conor Horgan of IBAL.  “Unfortunately, this does not reflect the state of our coastal environment. There is much ‘long lie’ litter and waste coming in from the sea, and this is compounded by litter from those who continue to frequent our coastline despite the inclement weather.”


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