Thursday 19 July 2018

'I’m not a killjoy, but it’s out of hand' - calls for crackdown on drinking at popular Dublin meeting spot after area left covered in litter

Rubbish strewn along the canal in Portobello after crowds gathered to enjoy the sunshine last month Credit: DJ Deece / Niall D'Arcy
Rubbish strewn along the canal in Portobello after crowds gathered to enjoy the sunshine last month Credit: DJ Deece / Niall D'Arcy

Rachel Farrell

LITTERING at a popular Dublin meeting spot got "out of hand" over the weekend as sun-worshippers made the most of the good weather, a local councillor has said.

Labour Party Councillor Mary Freehil is calling for increased garda presence along Dublin's canals, saying the amount of rubbish strewn there over the bank holiday weekend was "huge."

Cllr Freehill told Independent.ie: "It (littering) happens whenever there’s good weather, but it’s getting bigger and bigger.

"I went down on Sunday night and the amount of litter was huge, people are bringing takeaway food with them as well as drinking and that’s part of the problem.

"I was on to Terenure Garda Station earlier last week asking them to keep an eye on it.

"It’s going to require a bigger part on the Gardai. It costs the city council a lot of money after weekends like this to clean it up."

The Dubliner also said that she is worried that it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously hurt in the area.

She said: "I’m not a killjoy, but it’s gone so out of hand that something bad could happen.

"Last year there were pictures of someone walking on a plank across the canal. There’s people drinking near deep water, and that’s a little worrying."

Cllr Freehill noted that Dublin City Council could do more to crack down on anti-social behaviour.

“As councillors I think we have a certain amount of responsibility for it. I live around the area and it’s a problem when people are using our streets as a toilet.

"People are leaving behind gin bottles, beer bottles, their leftover Deliveroos- there was even cocaine found at one part. It’s not sustainable,” she said.

Dublin Bay South TD Jim O'Callaghan echoed these sentiments, he said he is happy to see people enjoying themselves but does not want them to litter.

The Fianna Fail representative said: "Piles of rubbish left strewn along the Canal are not just unpleasant to look at and taint the landscape; they potentially pollute the water and endanger the wildlife that rely on it.

"It’s great that people can get together and enjoy the sun by the water at Portobello Bridge but they need to be more conscious of the environmental impact of their litter and general waste on our urban community.

"We all have a civic and personal responsibility to properly dispose of any waste we generate whether that’s at home or in public and those that ignore that should face repercussions.

"I have written to Dublin City Council to urge them to assign a number of Litter Wardens to monitor that area during good weather and who can issue on the spot litter fines."

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