Fury as tourists leave sand dunes strewn with glass and dirty nappies
Dirty day trippers have left Portrush awash with litter over the Easter holidays, with the resort's stunning sand dunes strewn with broken glass and dirty nappies.
The new Causeway Coast and Glens Council has come under fire for not being prepared for the thousands of visitors who descended on the North Coast town on Easter Monday and Tuesday.
Golf professional Michael McCrudden, who lives in Portrush, posted shocking pictures on his Facebook page of the rubbish that had been left behind by inconsiderate visitors and urged the council to do better.
"I mean, come on, how hard is it to get a few more bins, pick up rubbish and make the town into a park-and-ride to stop the parade of souped-up cars clogging up the place," he said.
"With the potential Open Championship set to take place in only four years, is this the image that the council and NITB want people to see?"
Mr McCrudden told the Belfast Telegraph that he had seen the dunes strewn with beer bottles, Buckfast bottles, burnt barbecues and dirty nappies that had been thrown on the ground instead of in the bin.
"For the next couple of weeks until it's cleaned up properly, it will be a no-go zone for people walking their dogs," he said.
"I heard people saying that the litter wardens were overwhelmed. They're used to dealing with the normal population in Portrush.
"On a bank holiday, the population is going from 12,000 or 13,000 people to about 100,000 people in the town and there needs to be something put on to cope with that. It's been happening for 40 years, that on Easter Monday the town is totally thronged. They need to at least put on a few more bins."
Mr McCrudden said that nearly a month ago cables running along railings along the promenade and East Strand were severed with bolt cutters. "They're still lying in tatters," he said.
And he suggested that it would be better to operate a park-and-ride scheme that would stop the town from getting clogged up by traffic - similar to what was in place during the Irish Open.
Meanwhile, locals are furious after the sward at Lansdowne Green was churned up on Easter Sunday by a 'cruise' event held by boy racers.
Last year the council came under fire after crows and seagulls were able to rifle through open-topped rubbish bins on the North Coast, strewing litter round the open spaces.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said that more than 57 bags of litter were collected by seasonal staff in a six-hour time frame in Kerr Street alone.
"The bags collected were then collated in a central location for council's refuse collection vehicles to access. Due to the large crowds present at Portrush during the bank holiday, council's refuse vehicles were physically not able to get through the crowds during peak hours," a spokesman said.
In Portrush, the council employed 38 staff to cover shifts from 8am to 9.30pm from Thursday, April 2 until yesterday to help deal with the rubbish.
"There is an ongoing issue of visitors discarding their rubbish carelessly," the spokesman said. "On one occasion over the bank holiday weekend, council staff found broken glass bottles stuck into grass at the Dunluce Centre Green, with broken side up.
"This is both careless and harmful to visitors, residents and the council workers who spent additional time clearing and removing such dangerous items."