HIDDEN between the lines of the annual survey conducted by Irish Business Against Litter and An Taisce, ranking how badly littered cities and towns are in Ireland, one can see the countless faces and unread names of community activists who take pride in the places where they live and work tirelessly to improve them.
Once famous for horse dung and pony nappies, it is no accident that Killarney has now been named the cleanest town in the country. Among Ireland’s leading tourism venues, detractors might say local people have mercenary reasons for beautifying their town. But that hardly explains why individuals go to the trouble of planting flowers, sweeping footpaths, and picking up the litter that mars many a town. A sense of community is the answer. It also explains why a litter blackspot such as Farranree in Cork has improved. However, the centre of Dublin, which certainly lacks a communal presence, is rated among the country’s worst litter blackspots and sits near the bottom of the table of 40 towns and cities — a shocking indictment of our capital city.
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