Report criticised by businessman after Doolin branding litter blackspot

Doolin ‘is in pristine condition’, says local Eugene Garrihy, despite a new report claiming otherwise.

By Gordon Deegan

Clare businessman Eugene Garrihy has criticised the results of a new survey that has labelled Doolin a “litter blackspot."

Mr Garrihy, father of Dancing with the Stars celeb and Fair City actor Aoibheann Garrihy, operates Doolin2Aran Ferries and yesterday described the results of the Irish Business Against Litter litter survey as “grossly unfair”.

This summer, Mr Garrihy’s firm has invested €3m in its operations with the commissioning of the 200-seater Star of Doolin on the Doolin-Aran Islands route.

Reacting to the results of the survey yesterday: “I drove down from the Church in Doolin yesterday to the pier and I didn’t see any litter anywhere — not even a coffee cup. The place is in pristine condition and we are always very conscious to clean up around our premises after a busy day here.”

Mr Garrihy said he is “very, very disappointed” with the survey.

Mr Garrihy said: “We are part of the Burren Geopark in Doolin along with the Cliffs of Moher and we are very aware of our responsibilities to the environment here.”

Clare County Council joined with Mr Garrihy in rejecting the results of the survey.

The council said it disagrees with the finding by the group Irish Business Against Litter that Doolin pier is a “litter blackspot”.

A spokesman said: “The local authority employs two harbour masters in Doolin and in conjunction with local private ferry operators and an on-site catering operator; the maintenance of the area around the pier is a priority.

Clare County Council is also currently developing a masterplan for Doolin that is aimed at providing a visitors’ service centre at the pier, as well as enhancing the public realm of the pier area.

The spokesman continued: “Clare County Council invests considerable time and resources in promoting environmental awareness and litter prevention in association with community groups throughout Clare and this collaborative approach is reflected in the recent awarding of prestigious Blue Flag and Green Coast status to 12 Clare beaches.”

The An Taisce report, commissioned by Irish Businesses Against Litter, looked at 40 beaches, harbours, and rivers and their surroundings across the country, and found only four are “clean to European norms”.

The survey found 40% to be littered or heavily littered, including Lahinch, while Doolin Pier, and parts of Cork Harbour are singled out as “litter blackspots”.

The coach parking and car park areas were the worst affected at Doolin Pier, according to the report.

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