What this means is that in spite of a what it calls a “fall-off”, no towns were in the “seriously littered” category. The finding that only parts of Dublin and Cork were still littered is also a refreshing contrast with other years.
Predictably, the offending areas are a notoriously disadvantaged and largely neglected part of Dublin known as the north inner city and the sprawling Cork suburb of Farranree, both of which remain littered. Yet, on a brighter note, Farranree is no longer regarded as a litter black-spot while Dublin’s north inner city is also cleaning up its act and has dropped its “seriously littered” tag.
Otherwise, the survey carried out by the business group found, broadly speaking, that Ireland’s cities are steadily improving. What is worrying, however, is that only three quarters of the towns and cities examined by An Taisce were clean by European standards. This represents a decline of 15% on the previous year, a backward slide which no country so heavily dependant on tourism as Ireland could afford.
Even more disappointing, perhaps, is a reported drop from 17 to 12 in the number of Irish towns formerly judged to have been cleaner than the European norm. If Ireland is to compete with top tourism venues, only the best will do.