Kilkenny tops cleanest place league
Kilkenny has been named Ireland's cleanest place.
The medieval city topped a litter survey run by Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal). Cavan and Killarnet also ranked high in the league, which showed 80% of 42 towns and cities in the country to be as clean or cleaner than their European counterparts.
Dublin's north inner city was named and shamed as the dirtiest place in Ireland and earmarked as the country's only rubbish blackspot.
Ibal chairman Tom Cavanagh compared the progress made on litter to that of road safety.
"Each January we hear the welcome news that the numbers killed on our roads has again fallen," he said. "In particular, the attitude to drink-driving has been transformed in a way that would have seemed unthinkable some years ago.
"There are parallels with the improvements we are now seeing in cleanliness levels. We might have viewed ourselves traditionally as a less than tidy nation, but the results tell a different story. Leaving aside certain areas in our cities, we are becoming one of the cleanest societies in Europe."
Organisers said this was the first time that Kilkenny City, which has been litter-free for the past four years, has won the Ibal litter league, taking the title from last year's winner Trim. It was one of 22 towns and cities to be deemed 'Cleaner Than European Norms' this year.
An Taisce, which conducts the litter surveys, said all sites scrutinised in Kilkenny achieved the top litter grade. It said approach roads to the city were in particularly good order, while the site by the riverbank, where there had been previous issues, had been improved with the removal of graffiti.
The organisation also praised the footpath and road surface along High Street.
In Dublin, landlords were blamed for the neglect of the north inner city after it was branded the dirtiest place in the country. Ibal said the area had one of the worst results recorded in a decade.