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  • Northside West

Litter report is ‘unfair’ to Ballymun

Tuesday, 22nd January, 2019 8:00am
Litter report  is ‘unfair’ to Ballymun

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (far left) and Robert Murphy (far right) with Ballymun Tidy Towns volunteers

Litter report  is ‘unfair’ to Ballymun

Cllr Noeleen Reilly (far left) and Robert Murphy (far right) with Ballymun Tidy Towns volunteers

Orla Dwyer

THE Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) league results ranking Ballymun poorly are unfair and don’t consider the economic situations of towns, according to the area’s Tidy Towns chairperson.

Robert Murphy, owner of Nan’s SuperValu in Ballymun, said he understands the purpose of the league but finds it unfair to rank towns with different situations in the same way.  

“The socio-economic factors of Ballymun are definitely not the same of those in Fermoy [which came top of the league],” said Murphy.

“Sensationalising these reports and pointing another finger at Ballymun in a negative light is not the way forward.”

Ballymun was described as having “some improvement” in the 2019 league but still ranked near the bottom of the table. Fermoy in Co Cork was the most litter-free town in Ireland. 

“I get IBAL, I get why they’re doing the report,” Murphy told Northside People. “It’s to challenge local councils and challenge businesses to clean their act up.

“It’s grand if everyone is on a level playing field and you can start that process of improving, but that’s not the case.”

Conor Horgan of IBAL has previously stated that litter levels in economically disadvantaged areas are often lacking a sense of pride in place and this “reflects an absence of real community”.

Murphy firmly disagreed with this saying “that’s not the case in Ballymun, the opposite in fact”. 

“We work really hard amongst ourselves and with the wider community alongside Dublin City Council to make Ballymun a better place to live, work and spend some leisure time in,” he said.

The Ballymun Tidy Towns committee met last week to discuss the litter league and committee members were disappointed with the results. 

“Normally a January meeting is really optimistic, but you can see that the guys were taken aback a bit,” said Murphy. “But we are going to turn that on its head.” 

Murphy emphasised that the issue with littering and illegal dumping is much more complex than people just throwing things on the ground. 

“99 percent of people are really, really good around here and I know that, I’m 50 years in Ballymun now,” said Murphy. “They care about their community, they care about their children and their families and getting educated and prospering.

“Why don’t IBAL come out to Ballymun and help us create a strategy to clean up the area?” 

Local councillor Noeleen Reilly (IND) said she would be writing to IBAL about the report. 

“We feel that the overall picture and some of the language they used was a bit unfair,” Cllr Reilly said. “But we’re not denying that there is obviously an issue with illegal dumping.

“I’m not going to be naive and say that we don’t have an issue, of course we do, but I just think to suggest that the community have done nothing about this in three years is wrong.”

Cllr Reilly said illegal dumping is one of the biggest issues frustrating Ballymun residents. 

“There seems to be a small group of people who think it is okay to illegally dump without any thought for the impact they’re having on the community.

Dublin City Council said it has consistently responded to the results of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) surveys every year by identifying areas for improvement based on the analysis of the issues highlighted and taking actions to achieve improvements.

The council said it has an ongoing enforcement regime that includes the investigation of illegal dumping, illegal waste collection and waste disposal.  

“In carrying out this regime the council utilises all avenue of legislation and the relevant technology available such as CCTV monitoring of problematic locations,” a spokesperson said.   

“It is the ongoing aim of Dublin City Council to increase the effectiveness of all enforcement activities and to trial and implement new enforcement initiatives.

“The street cleaning regime within Dublin City is carried out daily throughout the city and the clearing of litter, removal of illegal dumping, sweeping of streets both mechanically and manually and the servicing of litter bins are the core activities carried out within this area of operation. 

“Dublin City Council will continue to endeavour to provide a high standard of directly delivered cleaning services, provide a range of recycling amenities, engage with communities and promote awareness of litter and environmental issues.”

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