It is the third time Farranree, on the northside of Cork City, has finished bottom of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) table with the tag ‘litter blackspot’. Mahon, on the southside of Cork City, finished 38th and was labelled ‘littered’.
The report said Farranree’s three litter blackspots — Cushing Place, the corner of Fairfield Ave and Fairfield Rd, and Fair Green — did not get into this state overnight.
“They weren’t just littered but subject to dumping and long-term neglect and abuse,” it said.
At Cushing Place, judges found black bags dumped below a ‘no dumping CCTV’ sign. They branded the corner of Fairfield Ave and Fairfield Rd a “terrible site”.
IBAL spokesman Conor Horgan said the findings highlight the need for Cork City Council to concentrate extra resources in these areas and devise and lead clean-up strategies.
However, Sinn Féin councillor Kenneth Collins said while there were some sweet papers and cigarette butts littering the suburb yesterday, he insisted it could not be described as a blackspot.
“What IBAL are saying isn’t the reality on the ground,” he said. “They are a faceless organisation and they are blackening our name,” he said. “I would like them to meet us, to come to a community meeting, and to show us, to prove to us where the dumping problem is.”
He criticised the league table format which he said is like comparing “apples and oranges”, adding: “They are comparing places like Farranree and Mahon — suburbs of Cork City — with large cities and towns like Cork, Kilkenny, Killarney, Fermoy, Bray, and Thurles. A lot of these places have income from tourism that can be reinvested back into street cleaning.”
Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien claimed the litter issue is not being caused by anyone living in the area.
“We have asked for help from the local authority time and again with it — calls that often fell on deaf ears,” he said.
“We also can’t hide from the fact there is also an issue with a waste disposal facility in the area, and that has been a long-running issue within the local community too.”
Mr Horgan defended IBAL’s inclusion of more city areas in its rankings and said it is a recognition of the fact litter is largely restricted to neglected pockets of cities. He also said there is evidence dumping is on the rise on the back of the introduction of the pay-by-weight system.