DESPITE constant calls for action, the response to Tidy Town work in Dingle so far this summer has been 'disappointing'.
A dedicated few do a lot of work around the streets of Dingle and in surrounding areas, picking up litter, planting flowers, painting and working hard, in their own time, to try to make the town look well.
The problem is that there are more litterers than cleaners and even residents and business owners aren't doing enough to keep their own premises clean and tidy.
The small band of volunteers can't get on top of the task without more help and, with the visit of Tidy Towns Competition judges imminent, time is running out.
"We are issuing an urgent appeal this week for volunteers to join in and help with our evening work," said Risteard MacLiam of Dingle Tidy Towns. "A major effort is now needed to get our town in good shape for the main tourist season as well as for the visit by the National Tidy Towns judges in the near future."
"The response has been very disappointing so far this year; should people not be available in the evenings we have requested that interested parties look after their own business or residential areas, in particular with regards litter collection and general tidiness," he added.
Dingle Tidy Towns achieved a seven-mark improvement in 2011 on the previous year in the National Tidy Town Awards scoring 262 points, a three per cent improvement on the previous year, making it second in its population category in Kerry.
The judges were iimpressed with the use of the Irish language in the area and the improved appearance of St. James Church graveyard and the flowers and shrub displays. However, they they were less than impressed with the amount of litter on Dingle's side streets, the Mall River and the lesser traveller roads.
With Dingle's neighbouring tourism hub of Killarney named Ireland's Tidiest Town in 2011, the local Tidy Towns Committee is hoping to improve the town's rankings in this year. However, this will only be achieved if more people get involved in the effort.
Dingle Tidy Towns meet every Tuesday and Thursday at the Tracks (near the bottle-bank) at 7pm. More information may be obtained from Risteard or from Patrick Sheehy, Spar, Green Street.