What will the tourists make of our littered lanes and dirty ditches?

February 24th, 2016 4:55 PM

By Southern Star Team

Locals organised by Kieran Coffey, cleaned up the beach at Long Strand near Rathbarry recently.

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THE issue of illegal dumping and littering has once more raised its ugly face in West Cork, writes Siobhán Cronin.

THE issue of illegal dumping and littering has once more raised its ugly face in West Cork, writes Siobhán Cronin.

The letter received by Cork County Council regarding the state of the road between Skibbereen and Rosscarbery echoes the correspondence which The Southern Star has also been receiving lately.

We are constantly being contacted by angry locals and businespeople wanting to vent their frustration with the scourge of illegal littering.

While several community groups have organised themselves to gather rubbish at various locations in the region, including on our shoreline, it does not diminish the fact that the filth along our roads is becoming a huge issue.

The Southern Star launched its Keep West Cork Tidy campaign last summer and got a huge response – both from community groups wanting to help, and from concerned citizens angry at the lack of civic mindedness in their area.

And, thankfully, there is no shortage of people willing to help. It seems all we need to do is ask. This was shown recently when Cork County Council engineer Kieran Coffey organised a clean-up among his own community of the beach at Long Strand near Rathbarry.

‘The group photo only represents about half of the people who showed up on the day. In all, we collected about 40 bags of rubbish and some nets, barrels etc,’ he said.

There’s no doubt that Kieran and his gang have done a great service to our tourist industry – but it’s a great pity we have to resort to such drastic action, because of the selfishness and laziness of others.

And with tourist businesses currently planning for another busy summer, time is of the essence.

The success of the Wild Atlantic Way means that tourist numbers may be up yet again this year, but what will they make of our dirty ditches and littered lanes?

Isn’t it time we made a concerted effort – on a personal, community and local authority level – to ensure our visitors get a good first, second or third impression of our stunning countryside and coastline.

So, let’s keep the pressure up, let’s keep educating our children and young adults, and even the adults themselves, and let’s try to KEEP WEST CORK TIDY.

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