Limerick Tidy Towns chairperson tells business owners 'shape up or sell out' after anti-litter survey

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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Limerick Tidy Towns chairperson tells business owners 'shape up or sell out' after anti-litter survey

Maura O' Neill and Helen O' Donnell, who has urged landlords to support their efforts | Picture: Michael Cowhey

THE chairman of Limerick Tidy Towns has told private business owners who do not take care of their basements to “shape up or sell out”.

Helen O’Donnell was speaking after the latest Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal) anti-litter league revealed a massive problem with dumping on private lands, particularly in High Street, Cecil Street and off Upper William Street.

Tidy Towns has run a high-profile campaign to persuade building owners to allow them in to clean-up dirty basements.

The problem has once again been highlighted by Ibal in its latest report, which sees the city fall down 18 places, and is now considered one of the most littered in the state.

Ms O’Donnell says it is frustrating, because there is little the Tidy Towns volunteers can do about private land.

“It’s a repeated problem,” she told The Leader, “Tidy Towns would make a huge appeal to successful business people who we know hold some of these properties and keep them in an appalling state, derelict, and the basement full of every kind of disgusting rubbish. I would be calling on them to shape up or sell out. While we have repeatedly put huge volunteer effort into tidying people’s private property, as we are passionate about having our city as the cleanest place, we need support.”

Mayor Michael Sheahan is calling on everyone to help in the fight against litter.

“The Ibal report has highlighted a number of issues. I am particularly calling on all basement owners to clean their basements today and keep them clean. It’s not good enough to leave it to city centre volunteers who have done marvellous work on basements, or to wait for an enforcement notice to clean up. Clean up for yourselves, your neighbours and visitors to our city,” was the mayor’s message to the people.

While Limerick was in 35th position, there was even worse news for the southside community of Galvone and its surrounds, with the inspectors placing it in 38th out of 40.

The inspectors from An Taisce singled out the back of the industrial estate for criticism, the recycle facility at the Roxboro Shopping Centre was slammed for the fact it was left overflowing when they visited.

Newly elected Janesboro councillor Sarah Kiely said there are no plans for additional bins in the area – including for dog litter.

It’s something she plans to address locally, saying: “It’s not really good enough.”

“Galvone has again hit the headlines, which is disappointing. It says in the report, Galvone is littered but improved, so we have to see the positive in that. Before, we were the only ones hitting the headlines. Now we are littered, but improved,” she added.

Top of the second Ibal anti-litter league for 2019 was Kilkenny.

Meanwhile, the only two areas placed below Galvone were Ballymun in North Dublin, the only litter ‘blackspot’ and Mahon in Cork.