The summer weather has appeared. The town of Killarney looks beloved, with its multi-coloured window boxes and hanging baskets, proudly displayed against a background of freshly painted private houses, shops, restaurants, hotels, pubs and offices.
It’s a credit to the people of Killarney, who have toiled long and hard through dark, dreary winter evenings to maintain and upgrade the pristine standards for which we have now become renowned and for which we have won IBAL and Tidy Towns awards. It’s a source of joy and pride to everybody who has the good fortune to live in Killarney and its environs.
Why, then, you might ask, do some among us rain on the parade by being less than scrupulous in the disposal of their waste?
It’s an imponderable conundrum, especially when you consider the following variables:
the visibility of the ‘meitheal’ of hundreds of volunteers who clean the town daily
the thousands of local citizens who have been educated in environmental issues, thanks to the Green Schools programme
the location of a recycling plant within a stone’s throw of the town, where rubbish can be disposed of at no cost
the location of bottle-and-can recycling facilities in the car-parks in the town.
Earlier this evening, I tackled an eyesore of waste that had accumulated over the weekend, within shouting distance of my house. Amid the detritus, I found the following:
A charity letter addressed to ‘the householder’ (no address)
junk mail from a marketing company in plastic packaging (no address)
two plastic bottles, plastic wrapping, and used baby wipes
three loaded baby’s nappies. The detective in me can hazard an educated guess that the person who dumped this bag of rubbish is young enough to have been through a ‘Green Schools’ programme.
However, he/she has decided to force other citizens into cleaning up his/her personal mess, thereby showing a blatant disregard for any civic value system.
I feel disgusted and angry that anyone would be so irresponsible as to jeopardise the name Killarney has worked so hard to earn for itself.
Let’s keep our eyes wide open and make it difficult for people to behave in such a despicable manner.
Miriam O’Sullivan Long