Pranksters rubbish culture city’s image

CORK’S image as Europe’s cultural capital took another bashing yesterday as the city’s waste row entered its second week.

A mystery joker put a placard on a pile of illegally dumped rubbish on Eason's Hill, near the city's North Cathedral, describing the filthy refuse sacks as "art in situ."

The placard bore the name of Cork 2005, the official organisers of the city's year as European capital of culture.

It read: "Cork City of Culture 2005 proudly presents 'Rubbish' Art in Situ Public Installation from Various Anonymous Artists, Free Admission."

The placard was spotted in the rubbish on Friday night.

It had been removed by yesterday morning. The pile of rubbish was still there.

A Cork 2005 spokeswoman said they weren't aware of the placard until contacted about it yesterday. She said she didn't believe the stunt affected the Cork 2005 image.

"It's not really using our brand as such. It's another example of how a group has used the city's designation to gain publicity," she said.

Council workers continued to remove piles of uncollected waste from a number of litter blackspots yesterday.

Rubbish was removed from Blackpool village and areas around Barrack Street.

But piles of bags were still lying around parts of Ballinlough, on Wellington Road, on some of the lanes off Shandon Street and in some estates in the Glen.

A council spokesman said they are sticking to the policy of not collecting untagged bins.

He declined to describe the removal of illegally dumped rubbish as a "clean-up."

"The situation is under constant review. We are removing material to find names and addresses," he said. Evidence was found in bags over the weekend that will allow the council to issue three fines, he said.

"The €125 fines will be issued soon. People have 21 days from day of issue to pay," he said.

Green Party Cllr Chris O'Leary called on city manager Joe Gavin to extend the clean-up city-wide.

"I have a problem with us turning a blind eye to this serious health and safety issue," he said.

He discouraged those involved in the placard stunt.

"We don't need placards highlighting this. I have encouraged people who see bags accumulating to report it to council," he said.

Mr O'Leary said he is still awaiting a response from the chief executive of the Health Service Executive Southern Area and the regional manager of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Details also emerged yesterday of a mass protest rally in the city centre at 3pm on Saturday, organised by Householders Against Service Charges.

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