Ballybane is the most heavily littered urban area in Ireland

Galway Daily news Galway accounts for just 2.5 percent of litter fines issued in Ireland

Ballybane is the most heavily littered area in all of Ireland’s towns and cities according to the findings of the latest Anit-Litter League Survey.

Irish Business Against Litter carried out a survey of littering in 40 towns and city areas around Ireland.

Ballybane in Galway city was the lowest ranked area on the list. It and Dublin North were the only areas found to be Seriously Littered.

Fermoy in Co. Cork was the cleanest town in the country according to the litter survey.

According to IBAL Galway, Dublin, and Cork city were all more heavily littered than in previous surveys.

“We have seen a worsening of litter levels in economically disadvantaged areas, which dominate the lower placings of our rankings,” says Conor Horgan of IBAL.

“What is often lacking in these areas is a sense of ‘pride in place’, which in turn reflects an absence of real community.”

He warned that while we’re rushing to address the housing crisis that plagues Galway, we still have to take the time to build real communities.

The survey was commissioned by IBAL and carried out by An Taisce over the summer.

In the report for Ballybane, an Taisce cited the, “pathways riddled with heavy levels of food related litter”, “huge swathes of all manner of litter, as well as discarded bags of rubbish” and dumping near St Brigids Church.

77% of the towns surveyed by An Taisce were found to be clean, though five spots were ‘littered’ or ‘seriously littered’.

They are Cork City – Mahon, Cork city Northside, Ballymun, Dublin North Inner City, and Ballybane.

The greatest improvement of any town in the survey was Navan which rose 20 places to 14.

“Our surveys have consistently revealed a disparity in cleanliness between our city centres on the one hand, and neglected city areas on the other,” says Horgan.

“This disparity has never been more acute than this year – our city centres are cleaner, while disadvantaged urban areas are more littered.”

The survey highlighted the prevalence of ‘long-lie’ litter in the worst hit sites as evidence of neglect over long periods of time.

Conor Horgan expressed his frustration at seeing the same sites on the list year after year “with no evidence of clean up”.

He says it shows that the problem is worst in areas that are being neglected by the local authority.

The most recent statistics on litter enforcement IBAL has available show that the cost of having to employ litter wardens is ten times higher than any revenue collected through fines.

In the past six years the amount collected through litter fines has halved from €1.7 million to €840,000