BAGS of dirty nappies left in a beauty spot. A dead calf thrown over a wall. Domestic and construction waste left just metres from an important megalithic site.
These are just some of the instances of illegal dumping which were brought to our attention in the past week.
Each one was stumbled upon by a local resident out walking.
Each one was captured on camera.
Each one was close to a tourist area in West Cork.
And each one left the person behind the camera feeling angry and disgusted with their fellow human beings.
But we can only assume that the people who left these items in these locations feel no such disgust. No shame. No sense of responsibility for their actions.
But they are not alone, either.
They cannot be – if the amount of rubbish being dumped along our roads, ditches, in forests, on riverbanks, is any indication.
There must be hundreds, at the very least, of people who think this kind of behaviour is acceptable.
But what is even more worrying, is that they do not see how this behaviour might affect them.
West Cork’s biggest industries are agriculture/food and tourism, all of which depend on a pristine, clean environment.
We have built a reputation on our beautiful scenery, landscapes and quality of our food.
But that is being eroded by the increasing incidences of illegal dumping.
On every national, secondary, tertiary and back-road, the ditches are littered with coffee cups, plastic bottles, food wrappings and sweet papers.
And while these items are disgusting in their prevalence, the incidence of large scale dumping is now almost as common.
Stop at any lay-by, forest entrance, hidden ditch or viewpoint and take a few minutes to survey your surroundings. Chances are, you won’t have to travel too far to see bags of domestic refuse, or discarded furniture or electronic equipment or construction waste, left to fester.
One of our readers sent us shocking pictures this week of up to 13 black bags of dirty nappies left in a small forest, just off the N71. Is this really the West Cork we want to promote as a tourist destination?
As a cycling destination, where every ditch and hedgerow is on immediate display?
Should we not make sure that our product is worthy of all our self-satisfied praise before we go out shouting about it and encouraging others to come and ‘see for themselves’?
We might not be so happy with what they find. Or what they choose to ‘shout about’.
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