Limerick Tidy Towns 'declare war' in city basement bid

Who owns this basement? Campaign targets blackspots

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Limerick Tidy Towns 'declare war' in city basement bid

Helen O’Donnell and Maura O’Neill, Limerick Tidy Towns have declared war on the owners of littered basements Picture: Michael Cowhey

LIMERICK Tidy Towns have made an open offer to private landlords to clean their litter-strewn basements.

As part of what Helen O’Donnell of the group has described as a “guerilla approach”, Tidy Towns have put posters up on railings where the volunteers feel the basements are particularly dirty.

These posters urge the owners to get in touch so access to the basements to clean them up can be arranged.

The unprecedented approach comes after both Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal) and Tidy Towns surveys highlighted litter-ridden basements on Limerick’s main streets as a problem.

“We are preparing our annual Tidy Town application. It will be our fifth time doing it. We have a lot of volunteers who work very hard all year round to try and keep our city in a good condition. They complement what the local authority is doing,” Helen explained, “But over that period we have become more and more frustrated with the condition of some basements in the city centre which have never been cleaned”.

The group – which meets each Wednesday night at 6pm and at the weekend to stage city clean-ups – has picked the basements based on their mention in the Ibal anti-litter league.

“We want to get the attention of the owners,” Helen added, “People own these buildings and basements and plan to do things with them. It’s an awful pity they cannot have them in a better condition.”

Helen told the Leader is it not their intention to offend any private property owners.

She said: “It is out of frustration we have taken this action. We don’t want to offend or upset anybody. But on the other hand, we work really hard to present our city really well. We can see the amount of foreign direct investment, and the Gardens International project coming down the track.

"You see these buildings which will be beautiful and we will want people to come to Limerick and set up home here. We want to give them a really good impression of our city. That means having them in good shape.”