Fingal collects 3,000 bags of rubbish from beaches in two days

Littering soars with weather as warm weather set to continue

Fingal County Council crews collected some 3,000 bags of rubbish on beaches last weekend as littering soared in line with the high temperatures.

Normal summer collections would yield a few hundred rather than a few thousands bags, a council spokeswoman said.

The local authority is among several coastal councils that have had to put extra beach clean-ups in place as the warm weather continues. It is set to last for at least another week.

The north Dublin council deployed 24 extra cleaning personnel over the weekend as it collected rubbish equating to some 10 large skip-loads. Cleaning crews began at 6am, taking three to four hours twice daily, much longer than normal.


While the figure includes collections from bins on each of its 15 beaches, among them Portmarnock, most of it was from littering, a spokeswoman said.

Some people were burying the rubbish rather than putting it in bins, the spokeswoman said. She urged sunseekers not to leave bottles, barbecues, nappies and uneaten food on the beaches and to dispose of rubbish properly.

Beaches will likely be busy again from Thursday when the very hot weather is set to return, with the warmest weather in the high 20s forecast for the west. Earlier in the week the country will have to contend with temperatures in the high teens to mid-20s. This is "above normal" for July, Met Éireann forecaster Pat Clarke said.

Met Éireann is not yet saying how long the sunshine will continue beyond the weekend. “There is no significant rainfall between now and next Sunday. Thereafter we’ll just have to see,” Mr Clarke said.

Strain on resources
Cork County Council said the resources of its outdoor staff were "stretched". For Wicklow County Council, large volumes of visitors had been a "strain" on resources. It said 16 skips of waste had been removed from blue-flag Brittas Bay beach since the start of June.

Donegal County Council put extra resources in place to clear litter from its "very busy" 13 blue-flag beaches a couple of times a day, a spokeswoman said. Dublin's Phoenix Park has also seen increased litter.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has increased emptying of bins at bathing spots.

The prolonged dry spell has raised fears of a drought . Wexford County Council is restricting night supplies of water as demand has increased by 25 per cent in busy tourism areas. There have been water restrictions in counties Donegal and Cork.

The definition of a drought is 15 consecutive days in which less than 0.2mm of rain falls.

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery is Deputy Head of Audience at The Irish Times