City Centre littering a major problem claims new survey

by Rachel Cunningham
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Ballymun improves, little change in Tallaght or North Inner City 

Rachel Cunningham

Dublin City Centre has the unwanted ‘littered’ tag attached to its name following the most recent survey carried out by business group Irish Business Against Litter. It shows the capital’s centre has slipped back in the rankings of 40 towns and cities. 

There was however some good news for Ballymun, which was categorised as having improved to ‘moderately littered’ alongside Tallaght, but unfortunately there was little change in the ‘littered’ North Inner City. 

This is in contract to most of the Irish towns surveyed whih were found to be clean. This measures against two-thirds of city areas which are still suffering from littered status.

 The survey presents a snapshot of cleanliness levels across Ireland as the peak summer tourist season commences.

 Maynooth came out top ahead of Mallow, Kilkenny, Clonmel and Ennis as clean towns. Dundalk is said to be ‘seriously littered’ and was positioned at the very foot of the table, and ‘moderately littered’ Tralee, were the sole towns to miss out on clean status.

Said Conor Horgan of IBAL: “Clearly, tourism is a focus of this annual summer survey and unfortunately the major urban gateways to our towns and countryside – notably Dublin – are falling short of the mark and creating an underwhelming first impression for visitors. 

“As a high-cost destination, tourists to Ireland can expect better. It’s a fact, too, that the great work being done in our towns is negated by litter in our cities.”   

Last year saw a dramatic fall in the number of heavily littered sites or ‘blackspots’ across the country, and this welcome trend has continued into 2023. Cork City and Limerick City were improved in this regard, as was Drogheda. However, An Taisce, who carry out the surveys on behalf of IBAL, encountered discarded furniture, sleeping bags and blankets off Thomas Street in Dublin, a basement on O’Connell Street “wasn’t just littered but subject to dumping”, while Cork Northside’s Cathedral Walk was subject to dumping and “an eye-sore for children playing in the school yard directly opposite”.


1MaynoothCleaner than European Norms
2MallowCleaner than European Norms
3KilkennyCleaner than European Norms
4ClonmelCleaner than European Norms
5EnnisCleaner than European Norms
6MonaghanCleaner than European Norms
7SligoCleaner than European Norms
T8BallinaCleaner than European Norms
T8EnniscorthyCleaner than European Norms
10Naas Cleaner than European Norms
11Waterford CityClean to European Norms
12CavanClean to European Norms
T13BrayClean to European Norms
T13Carrick-on-ShannonClean to European Norms
15CarlowClean to European Norms
16RoscommonClean to European Norms
17MullingarClean to European Norms
18Dublin Airport EnvironsClean to European Norms
19Galway CityClean to European Norms
20KillarneyClean to European Norms
21LetterkennyClean to European Norms
22AthloneClean to European Norms
23PortlaoiseClean to European Norms
24Waterford City – BallybegClean to European Norms
25LongfordClean to European Norms
26TullamoreClean to European Norms
27DroghedaClean to European Norms
28NavanClean to European Norms
29TraleeModerately littered
30BallymunModerately littered
31Cork City CentreModerately littered
32Mahon – Cork CityModerately littered
33Limerick City CentreModerately littered
34TallaghtModerately littered
35Limerick City South – GalvoneModerately littered
36Galway Inner City – BallybaneModerately littered
37Dublin City CentreLittered
38Cork NorthsideLittered
39Dublin North Inner CityLittered
40DundalkSeriously littered

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