Many of us have a love-hate relationship with this country. Most of us are proud to be Irish, even if not all of the time.
The negative side of that relationship was needlessly fuelled again this beautiful, high-summer weekend.
Thousands of people visited Myrtleville beach to enjoy the sunshine and the sea.
Unfortunately, the behaviour of some of the visitors, their indifference to civic responsibility, meant that almost 40 sacks of rubbish were collected at the beach by volunteers yesterday morning.
Unless things have changed dramatically elsewhere, that same clean-up after the barbarians exercise was necessary all along our coast yesterday.
People living in myriad rural communities cursed by fly-tipping will appreciate the frustration and anger this soul-destroying behaviour provokes.
What is it about the Irish? Why do so many of us think that our rubbish is not our responsibility?
Why do so many of us imagine we should be able to dump rubbish in a local authority bin at a beach rather than bring it home? Why have we so little pride in our country, so little self-respect?
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