Roads to Dublin Airport spoiled by litter, survey finds


THE ROADS leading from Dublin Airport are spoiled by dumping, casual litter and “all manner of rubbish”, according to the latest survey by Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal).

The survey, conducted by An Taisce for the business alliance, said the airport grounds were “immaculate”, but the 50 per cent of tourists who arrived through the airport were greeted with littered roads when they left it.

Other roads criticised by the environmental watchdog were the Navan Road and the Palmerstown bypass in Dublin and the Blarney approach road in Cork.

Ibal chairman Dr Tom Cavanagh called for greater accountability from the authorities charged with cleaning roads in such areas.

“We’re finding that the main roads by which visitors reach tourist areas are often littered, which undermines the great work being done in the tourist areas themselves,” he said.

“The Ibal league has seen the cleanliness of key destinations such as Cork and Galway improve greatly in recent years, but the routes by which they are accessed let them down. In some cases it’s the immediate approach roads. In others it’s major routes many miles from the town.”

However, the overall survey results were said to be “hugely positive”, with 43 per cent of towns and cities deemed to be cleaner than the European average. Dr Cavanagh said this was “something we could not have dared to hope for just a few years back”.

Cavan was deemed to be Ireland’s cleanest town. An Taisce inspectors praised it as “a town that clearly takes great pride in its environment”. Cavan was one of 18 towns rated “cleaner than European norms”. Seventy-six per cent of the 42 towns and cities surveyed were deemed clean.

Dr Cavanagh said this was a record percentage for the annual survey, which began 10 years ago.

There was good news too for Tallaght, which was previously “moderately littered”. It improved to “clean to European norms” in the latest survey, while Swords and Dún Laoghaire were deemed “cleaner than European norms”.

But Dublin’s north inner city found itself at the bottom of the league for cleanliness again.

An Taisce said several areas that were heavily littered last year were “in an even worse state in 2012”. North Strand and Summerhill were singled out, as was Spencer Dock.

“Dublin City Council has done a sterling job in improving year-on-year the high-profile tourist parts of Dublin city centre,” Dr Cavanagh said. “Unfortunately, you don’t have to venture far from O’Connell Street to be confronted with constant litter, dog fouling and neglect.”

Similarly, Cork’s city centre was now exceptionally clean, but was in stark contrast to other areas, mainly north of the river, he said.

The survey found major improvements in the cleanliness of train and bus stations, with only Ennis train station deemed to be littered.

Of the 60 schools surveyed, two were found to be in a littered state: St Macartan’s College in Monaghan and Ennis Community School in Co Clare.

Ibal is seeking submissions for its new award, which will acknowledge businesses that have made a particular contribution to the cleanliness of an area.

Submissions can be made online at