Dublin city centre must clean up its act and get rid of litter
Dublin might be shaking off its image as a 'Dirty Old Town', but parts of the capital are still facing serious litter problems.
A new survey of 40 key population centres shows O'Connell Street and its environs have dramatically slipped down the rankings.
However, there has been an improvement in some previous blackspots such as Irvine Terrace and Store Street which were not just clear of litter, but carefully presented and maintained.
The North Circular Road, Portland Row, and Seville Place were also found to be much cleaner than in the past.
However, the former Small Business Centre in Gardiner Street was in a "shocking state", and Spencer Dock suffered from "huge amounts of litter".
The Manor Street/Brunswick Street/Church Street area was described as "a litter blackspot, as was a site on Capel Street".
Meanwhile, traditional tourist towns, such as Killarney and Tralee in Co Kerry, have rated well in the survey.
The top five litter-free locations are Killarney, Dungarvan, Tralee, Roscommon and Waterford city.
They are followed by Kilkenny, Longford, Dún Laoghaire, Cavan and Tullamore.
Bottom of the league table is Portlaoise, Dublin's north inner city, Athlone, Dublin city, and Farranree in Cork city.
Overall, the survey compiled by An Taisce for the Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal) alliance, suggests that despite problems in certain parts of the capital, the situation in other areas of Dublin has improved.
And there is also an improvement in Cork, the country's other major population centre.
For the first time, no towns were branded as 'blackspots' or 'seriously littered'.
The report lauded Killarney's achievement in reaching the top spot in the nationwide league table.
It says it is "a fitting result for a town which is at the heart of our tourism product. It is the continuous attention to detail which puts Killarney at the top of the league".
Connecting roads between 34 towns were assessed and found to be less littered than last year.
However, much of the Monaghan-Cavan road was heavily littered and "created a very poor impression", while dumping spoiled the Tallaght to Lucan route. "The most striking aspect of this survey is the improvement in neglected urban areas such as Dublin's north inner city and Cork's Farranree," says Conor Horgan of Ibal.
Both areas improved from 'litter blackspot' to 'littered' status in this survey.
"The work of Dublin and Cork city councils is bearing fruit in these areas.
"While 'littered' status is clearly not good enough, we are seeing evidence that when a local authority concentrates its efforts on a problem area, it can bring about results," he added.
Sweet papers, cigarette butts, fast-food wrappers, and chewing gum were the most common forms of litter.
Dog fouling, while not as prevalent, continues to be a source of public concern.
Meanwhile, 10pc of shopping centres were litter blackspots, including Mulvoy Park in Galway, where shrubbery was "choked with heavy levels of all manner of food-related litter".