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Killarney again runner-up while Tralee is ‘clean’ in IBAL litter survey 

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The final litter survey of 2020 by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Killarney in second place in the ranking of 37 towns and cities, with Tralee retaining its clean status in 17th. It is the second year in a row that Killarney has finished runner-up to Kilkenny, which took the crown for a record 5th time. For the first time in 13 years, fewer than half of the towns surveyed were deemed clean.

 

The An Taisce report for Killarney stated: “Always a top-ranking town, things were no different this time around in Killarney. It is a great credit to the local authority, traders and residents that the high standards of cleanliness have been maintained in these trying times. The Bottle Bank in the car park on Plunkett Street was exceptionally clean and freshly presented; Other top-ranking sites included Knockreer Playground and Deenagh Woodland Trail, High Street / Main Street and Dr Hans Liebherr Road.  The Jarvey Parking and surrounds is beautifully laid out – it was also excellent with regard to litter.”

The An Taisce report for Tralee stated: “Tralee just hangs on to its clean status of last summer. Most of the town centre sites within were very much deserving of the top litter grade, including Tralee Town Park, Kerry County Museum, The Square / The Mall and Milk Market Lane – the latter was an excellent example of making a feature of a laneway.  There was one litter blackspot - the ‘miscellaneous’ site along the residential Mitchels Road – it wasn’t just casually littered but subject to heavy levels of dumping – it didn’t get into this state overnight.  The Clothing Bank to the rear of SuperValu had significant amounts of clothing discarded to the rear of the clothing units.“

In all, litter levels rose in 24 of the 37 towns and cities inspected by An Taisce at the end of 2020, resulting in only 17 being judged to be clean – a fall of over 25% on last summer and in sharp contrast to just three years ago, when 80% were clean.

According to IBAL, the survey results are consistent with a trend in recent years. “The decline in cleanliness is less a case of the poorer areas getting worse, but of previously clean towns slipping to littered,” says IBAL spokesperson Conor Horgan. “COVID is clearly a factor here, but we should never accept litter as inevitable. It comes down to people disposing of their waste without regard for their surroundings or their fellow citizens and it is entirely unnecessary.”

One explanation for the rise in litter lies in the restrictions surrounding cleaning services during the pandemic.  “While council workers have not been on the streets as much as normal, the general public has been spending more time than ever out of doors,” says Mr Horgan.

“There was a sharp rise in the amounts of litter on approach roads to towns, reflecting the fact that the benign winter has seen masses of people out walking. Ironically, too many of them are showing a shameful disregard for the environment they are enjoying.”

PPE litter

Coffee cups were among the most prevalent litter types found, while there was another rise in glass bottles and cans, suggesting that outdoor drinking has not waned over the winter months.  The survey also showed that the second half of 2020 brought a further increase in PPE-related litter, primarily masks.  “Eight months into the pandemic, we would have hoped people would have moved to reusable masks with a resulting fall in mask-related litter. In fact, we are seeing more and more of them ending up our streets.”

Heavily littered sites ‘getting worse’

The report highlighted a continued rise in the number of blackspots in towns and cities. IBAL was once again critical of the failure of local authorities to address sites that had been identified in previous surveys as heavily littered. 36 such sites were revisited in this latest survey, yet only 11% were found to have been cleaned up and more than a quarter had actually worsened.

Reluctance to pick up litter

According to IBAL, the reluctance among civic-minded people to pick up litter during the pandemic may carry long term consequences.

“While people have certainly become more attuned to their natural surroundings and more conscious of how litter can spoil those surroundings, this is offset by an understandable unwillingness to pick up waste for fear of contamination. As the pandemic endures, and with it the sensitivity around touching items, people may simply get out of the habit of picking up other people’s litter. We risk losing a civic behaviour which is vital in keeping our country clean.”

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Family to run in memory of the late Linda Eviston

By Sean Moriarty The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory. Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer. Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory.

Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer.

Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of her daughter Alannah, will run a 42.2km course, on the day before her anniversary to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The route will be based on landmarks that were an important part of Linda’s life. Starting from the family home in Dromkerry, before heading for the town centre and passing the Eviston House Hotel, Linda’s grandmother’s home at Park Road, Linda’s childhood home and national school in Glenflesk, Loreto where Linda attended secondary school, back to Killarney and finishing at Linda’s pride and joy – Brook Lodge Hotel.

“It is tough but we wanted to do something in Linda’s memory and help other people who might find themselves in similar circumstances,” Pat told the Killarney Advertiser. “We originally hoped to do the Dublin City Marathon but that got cancelled. This route is much better, but much tougher as it’s more hilly.”

All proceeds will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society and donations can be made via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/inhonouroflinda.

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Women bravely bare all for Kerry’s first ‘Dip in the Nip’

By Michelle Crean  It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend. Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend.

Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst the all female grouping were some Killarney ladies who joined in the empowering adventure for what was described as “a special and unforgettable morning” all in aid of Recovery Haven Kerry.

According to Marisa Reidy from Recovery Haven, the women were of all ages and all walks of life who came together for so many personal reasons.

“Some were still on their own cancer journey, some were celebrating coming out the other side and of course, many were there to honour friends and loved ones who they had lost to cancer, but we were all equal on the day – flaws and all,” Marisa, who also took part in the event, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was a truly uplifting and exhilarating experience and we are so, so grateful to each and every lady who joined us for a morning we will never forget. One woman described it as ‘companionship among strangers’ and that really sums it up perfectly. It was emotional, there were some tears, but lots of laughter and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. When the ladies hit the water, they all formed a circle and held hands in a gesture that was totally unplanned – it just happened organically and it was quite overwhelming.”

She added that a very special mention has to be made to Michaela and John Edwards and their team from Wild Water Adventures for their support and expertise in ensuring no stone was left unturned in making it a fabulous, safe event.

“It was an all-female team from beginning to end, from our own volunteers, stewards, registration, Gardai, teas and coffees, lifeguards, sea rescue – girl power at its finest! Now all that’s left to do is start planning for 2022!”

Donations are still being taken via the link on the Recovery Haven Kerry Facebook page.

“So far we are close on €9,000 which is just fabulous.”

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