BY KIERAN O’MAHONY
AND SIOBHÁN CRONIN
THE tourist season is almost upon us and once more the photographs of illegal dumping are mounting up.
This week alone, we had four incidences reported to us regarding recent large-scale dumping in areas around West Cork.
A number of mattresses were dumped alongside an abandoned horse box at the bottom of the hill at the Castleheights estate at Coolfada, Bandon last week, photographed by Denis Boyle. The dumped mattresses and horsebox have yet to be moved. When The Southern Star contacted Cork County Council on the matter, a spokesperson said that the Council does not comment on individual litter or illegal dumping detections.
‘The Council takes every opportunity to inspect and gather evidence which identifies person(s) littering or illegal dumping and where possible action is taken under the Waste Management and Litter Pollution Acts,’ it added.
Also this week photographer Andrew Harris was horrified to find what looked like furniture with rubbish embedded in it, thrown on the side of a road near Union Hall.
There were more incidences of illegal dumping along the ‘Bantry Line’ route to Cork, were readers spotted a buggy and other items dumped a few miles north of Dunmanway, while hundreds of metal cans appeared to have been dumped in a gateway further north on the same route.
It is difficult to understand the mentality of someone who might dispose of their discarded furniture, items or even commercial refuse in a tourist area – or any region for that matter.
But smaller items of litter are now evident on every national and secondary route and backroad.
With the busy holiday period just around the corner now, more than ever, the public needs to take a stand and report anyone spotted fly-tipping or even engaged in smaller scale littering, like throwing sweet wrappers or cups out of car windows.
Two years ago The Southern Star ran a campaign to encourage responsible dumping, having received numerous letters from visitors disgusted with what they had found on their travels. But the situation seems to have deteriorated even more since then, with not a road spared from discarded coffee cups, plastic bottles or takeaway containers.
For those of us who holiday regularly on the continent, the sight of these dirty litter-strewn Irish roads is a real disappointment when we return home.
If we are not careful, we will be given the tag of the ‘filthy Irish’ and that is a title that is much harder lost than won.
Cork County Council advises that people report littering or illegal dumping by contacting the Council’s anti-litter unit on 021-4285417 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri) or alternatively call the 24-hour National Environmental Complaints Line on 1850 365 121.