By Evelyn RingIrish Examiner Reporter
Ireland South MEP and member of the EU tourism taskforce Deirdre Clune yesterday called for new laws, higher fines, and better enforcement when it comes to illegal dumping and littering in towns, rural roads, and beaches.
She said it was about time a clear message was sent to litter louts, warning Ireland will not tolerate any amount of litter.
“Our local authorities have better things to be doing besides going out and removing nappies, bottles, and cans dumped at our beaches and on quiet country roads by those who have no interest in promoting Ireland as a clean and environmentally-friendly tourist destination.
“Illegal dumping poses a direct threat to our tourism industry and tourism jobs and must be tackled head on.”
She was speaking yesterday after Longford took the crown from Kilkenny as Ireland’s cleanest town. The Midlands town also finished ahead of Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, and Kilkenny.
The roads to Longford, at the meeting of the N4 and N5, were described as “impeccable” by An Taisce. It also found sites in the town were not just clear of litter, but many were also superbly presented and maintained.
Irish Business Against Litter surveyed 40 towns and cities for its 2015 Anti-Litter League and said it was attention to detail that set the winner and the other top ranking towns apart.
Longford has been a consistent performer in the IBAL programme for a number of years and was ranked third in 2014.
Director of services at Longford County Council, John Brannigan, said it was a great achievement for the people of Longford: “It emphasises the work we are doing to build communities that will be sustainable... and to create employment, in that there will be quality space for people to live in.”
The top five towns in IBAL’s 2015 league also include, Dungarvan, Co Waterford and Drogheda, Co Louth. Three out of four of the 40 towns and cities surveyed were found to be at least as clean as their European equivalents, a slight drop on the previous year.
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