Dublin named top of litter league
Dublin is once again living up to its infamous nickname of 'Dirty Old Town' with rubbish-strewn streets, empty shops, ghost estates and derelict sites blamed for putting it top of the litter league.
While the tourist hotspot of Killarney in Co Kerry has been ranked cleanest of 53 areas, the capital has been highlighted for blackspots and long-term abuse and neglect.
Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal), which carried out the survey, warned that the first image visitors to Ireland encounter after flying into Dublin is a litter-strewn road.
Chairman Dr Tom Cavanagh said the overall cleanliness was the highest since the survey began 10 years ago, with more than 20 towns deemed cleaner than their European counterparts.
"But Ireland cannot be deemed a clean destination for tourists if Dublin itself is not clean - and that doesn't just mean the city centre," he said.
The league table of 53 areas across the country showed two-thirds of towns and cities were found to have levels of tidiness in line with European norms. Among them were Galway, Waterford and - for the first time - Cork. Ibal highlighted food litter as commonplace on the approach roads to Dublin city.
"Dumping and litter blackspots arise mainly from local unacceptable practices in relation to disposal of waste and litter," it stated on the stark variances in the cleanliness of streets in different areas.
Inspectors were also critical of another disadvantaged area - Knocknaheeny in Cork city.
"The fact is we see regular cleaning on Dublin's Grafton Street and Patrick Street in Cork but less so in the more neglected parts of the cities," Mr Cavanagh said.