IBAL published its annual national litter survey, which found a record number, 76%, of all towns and cities are now clean.
However, visitors from overseas could get the opposite impression due to the prevalence of litter near Dublin Airport.
The record level of cleanliness around the country is being undermined by rubbish black spots according to IBAL, who demanded “more accountability” from those charged with cleaning them.
Of 42 areas surveyed nationwide, 18 are deemed ‘cleaner than European norms’, with Cavan leading the way in first position, followed by Kilkenny and Longford. Other urban areas in the same category include Fermoy, Killarney, Swords, Waterford City, Youghal, Cobh and Clonmel.
Another 14 areas are deemed to be ‘clean to European norms’, a group which includes Tralee, Kildare, Sligo and Tallaght.
However, eight areas, including Cork City and Dublin City, are described as ‘moderately littered’, and two are litter black spots — Dublin Airport environs and north inner city Dublin.
IBAL said the grounds of Dublin Airport were “immaculate” but problems begin on exit onto surrounding roads where An Taisce noted “all manner of rubbish” can be seen.
According to IBAL, Fingal County Council acknowledges the area is cleaned only once a year, while Dublin City Council had been criticised for its failure to tidy up the north inner city, with North Strand, Summerhill and the Spencer Dock highlighted as areas blighted by rubbish.
Other areas did not escape criticism either. The road to Galway at Palmerstown and the Blarney approach road in Cork were described as heavily littered, and the northside of Cork City is also seen as being littered.
The chairman of IBAL, Dr Tom Cavanagh said: “Dublin City Council has done a sterling job in improving year-on-year the high profile tourist parts of Dublin City centre.
“Unfortunately, you don’t have to venture far from O’Connell St to be confronted with constant litter, dog fouling and neglect.
“Similarly, Cork’s city centre — which is now exceptionally clean — is in stark contrast to other areas, mainly north of the river.”
Other areas were praised, among them Tallaght and Dun Laoghaire, while a review of schools foundtwo — St McCartan’s in Monaghan and Ennis Community School — to be littered.
Dr Cavanagh said: “The overall result here is hugely positive, with 43% of our towns and cities cleaner than the European average.
“Certain strategically important areas, particularly around Dublin and Cork, need to be tackled to complete the job, as the negative impression they leave risks undoing much of the good work elsewhere around the country.”
* Cleanest areas:
* Litter black spots:
Dublin Airport environs
North inner city Dublin