Killarney falls to mid-table in IBAL litter rankings
‘Clean’ Killarney now 22nd among 40 towns and cities
The latest survey by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Tralee and Killarney both retaining their 'Clean' status, in 14th and 22nd spots respectively in the ranking of 40 towns and cities.
Killarney was previously in 13th position. The study - the 20th year of the IBAL litter surveys - reveals PPE litter is on the decrease, but the prevalence of coffee cups on our streets warrants action such as a levy, says IBAL.
The An Taisce report said Killarney was a "consistently strong performing town".
"As the main tourist season kicks in there were no heavily littered sites in Killarney. Examples of top ranking sites were N22 Tralee Approach Road, the residential area of Pinewood Drive and Beech Road Car Park – this was particularly well presented and maintained. With a little extra effort, a couple of sites could easily get the top litter grade e.g., Main Street and New Street."
The An Taisce report for Tralee stated that it was "A very good result for Tralee, one of its best ever in the IBAL league".
"The paving along Dominick Street and The Mall looks great, creating a very fresh impression and greatly enhancing the overall appearance of both areas. Other examples of top ranking sites included Christ the King Park, a couple of the approach roads and MTU (Munster Technological University). By far the most heavily littered site was Market Street, with heavy levels of alcohol-related litter, cigarette butts and other food related items.
Two-thirds of the 40 towns and cities surveyed were found to be clean, among them Naas, which retained its position atop the rankings, ahead of Letterkenny and Cavan.
Overall litter levels showed a decrease on last year, with a dramatic fall of 50% in the number of sites within towns deemed to be ‘litter blackspots’.
While Killarney has been declared Clean to European Norms in the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) League, it is nevertheless disappointing that the town has slipped from 13th place to 22nd in the overall rankings and, clearly, there is a need for everybody to make an extra effort in relation to litter control, Niall Kelleher, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, said.
"It is noted that the adjudicators concluded that several sites surveyed very narrowly missed out on receiving the top grade so it is clear that there is not a huge amount of effort required to tackle the few niggling problems that have been presented.
"It is obvious that Killarney, in some ways, has become a victim of its own success as the enormous surge in visitor numbers since the pandemic restrictions have been lifted has created massive footfall on the streets and, unfortunately, when more people gather, there is always a greater risk of an increase in litter.
"Having said that, there is clearly a need for action and the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce is ready and willing to work in unison with the Killarney Municipal District Council and the Killarney Looking Good Committee to address the problems highlighted by the IBAL judges."
He said that while there is merit in asking people to bring their litter home with them, to ensure it is disposed of properly, we must all remain realistic and realise that not everybody will adhere to that request.
"It is important, therefore, that a sufficient number of litter bins are provided on the streets and approach roads to give people the opportunity to discard of their rubbish in a responsible manner. The possibility of introducing a levy in respect of disposable coffee cups, as recommended by the IBAL adjudicators, should certainly be explored. Chamber is aware that some outlets in Killarney already have an cup return incentive in place but we would encourage others to follow suit. In the meantime, an urgent course of action is required to tackle the problems associated with the careless disposal of cigarette butts which has been highlighted, in no uncertain terms, by IBAL.
"That might involve encouraging businesses to provide more suitable methods for their customers to dispose of cigarettes butts or encouraging Killarney Municipal District Council to increase its efforts to keep the streets litter free."
Everybody in Killarney will remember the magnificent contribution made by local man Dermot O’Connor who was a key part of a team that kept the streets litter free on his daily patrol prior to his retirement in 2020, Mr Kelleher added. "It might take more than one man to replace Dermot but if that is what is required, then so be it and the council needs to act without delay.
"When it comes to personal responsibility in relation to litter control, education is key but, unfortunately, it would appear that many people are slow learners in that regard so the necessary resources to keep Killarney looking its best must be provided. Killarney Looking Good and Tidy Towns volunteers will do what they can but, ultimately, the responsibility for keeping the streets litter free remains with the municipal authority.
"It is important to stress that outdoor staff supervisor Noel O’Leary and his crew are doing magnificent work but Killarney, as the country’s premier tourist town, needs realistic resources if it is to maintain the standards expected of it."
Charity Fly Fishing event launched
It’s that time of the year again when anglers take to the waters of Lough Lein, Killarney, to raise funds for local charities. The Lough Lein Anglers’ Association are hosting […]
It’s that time of the year again when anglers take to the waters of Lough Lein, Killarney, to raise funds for local charities.
The Lough Lein Anglers’ Association are hosting ‘The Charity’ Fly Fishing competition for the 35th time on Sunday, April 23.
The main sponsor of the event is Lee Strand Co-op, Tralee and the outing is part of a great local angling tradition run by one of the
longest established fishing clubs in Ireland.
To date, it has generated a massive €275,000 for local charities and two more charities are set to benefit this year.
The Kerry Branch of The Irish Kidney Association and The Kerry Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland will both receive welcome donations from the event.
Benefit-In-Kind tax rules overturned for company cars
By John Healy of Healy Insurances Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has announced a temporary change for company-owned vehicles following a backlash from drivers whose Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) taxes increased substantially […]
By John Healy of Healy Insurances
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath has announced a temporary change for company-owned vehicles following a backlash from drivers whose Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) taxes increased substantially in January.
While the move to a CO2 based Benefit-In-Kind system, which incentivises the use of Electric Vehicles and lower emission cars, a significant number of employees with vehicles in the typical emissions range experienced large increases in their income tax liabilities since the start of 2023.
To address the issue, the Finance Minister has introduced a relief of €10,000 to be applied to the Original Market Value (OMV) of cars in Category A-D in order to reduce the amount of Benefit-In-Kind payable (this is not applicable to cars in Category E).
In effect, this means that, for the purposes of calculating BIK liability, employers may reduce the OMV by €10,000. This treatment will also apply to all vans and electric vehicles. For electric vehicles, the OMV deduction of €10,000 will be in addition to the existing relief of €35,000 that is currently available for EVs, meaning that the total relief for 2023 will be €45,000.
The upper limit in the highest mileage band is amended by way of a 4,000km reduction, so that the highest mileage band is now entered into at 48,001km.
These temporary measures will be retrospectively applied from 1 January 2023 and will remain in place until 31 December 2023. It is proposed to introduce the measures at Committee Stage of the Finance Bill 2023.
From an insurance perspective, if a vehicle is owned by a company then the motor policy in place must be in the company name and have full business use cover known as Class 2 cover. It is customary that the policy is on an open driving basis, usually aged 25 to 70. The cost for a company owned car policy can be higher than privately owned vehicles.
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