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Residents of country's last litter blackspot hit back

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Derry Farrell of Nash's Boreen Residents Association pictured near his home Nash's Boreen, Farranree

Derry Farrell of Nash's Boreen Residents Association pictured near his home Nash's Boreen, Farranree

Cllr Marion O' Sullivan

Cllr Marion O' Sullivan

Grace Murrey pictured outside her home Farranree near an illegal dumping ground on the northside of Cork City

Grace Murrey pictured outside her home Farranree near an illegal dumping ground on the northside of Cork City

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Derry Farrell of Nash's Boreen Residents Association pictured near his home Nash's Boreen, Farranree

It is the last litter blackspot left in the entire country - officially.

But the people of the northside Cork suburb of Farranree have vowed to fight the 'dirty' tag that some feel is deeply unfair.

One of the 51 most disadvantaged areas in the country, Farranree came last in the league of Irish towns surveyed by An Taisce for the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) association.

An Taisce described Farrenree as "not just littered, but subjected to dumping and neglect".

Fair Green in the area was deemed a litter blackspot to the extent that it "could become a health hazard".

Only two of the sites inspected were deemed to be clean.

Local residents said that 99pc of people in the area did not dump illegally, and that most of the litter comes from strangers who travel from other parts of the city to dump rubbish.

"If I step out of my house I have to be careful because you wouldn't know what you'd find - dirty nappies and God knows what else," said local woman Grace Murray.

Derry Farrell of the Nash's Boreen Residents Association said the situation was very frustrating.

Nash's Boreen - a mile-and-a-half-long lane in the Farranree area with views over Blarney and of the Galtee Mountains - is cleaned regularly by the council, but still attracts fly-tippers.

"People are coming out and dumping because they don't want to pay to get rid of their rubbish," he said.

But the area was no worse than many others, he insisted.

"If you drive out the back road to Blarney and look over a wall, exactly the same thing is happening."

Community warden Grace Gould told the Irish Independent that she also thought the survey was deeply unfair.

"They're not comparing like with like," she said, asking how business hubs and tourist towns such as Kilkenny and Killarney could be put on a par with "poor working-class communities".

"People are pumping money into those towns from all over Europe," she said. "Give us those resources and we'll show you what we can do with them."

John Jones, administration officer in street cleaning at Cork City Council, said they were going to focus on Farranree to see where the main problems lie.

"We work with the local community and have a good relationship with schools, with education programmes to get the message across to young people," he said.

The council has lost 35 staff members in the past five years due to the embargo on hiring, he said. "This is part of the problem," he added.

"There are a lot of decent people in the Farranree area," he said. "People shouldn't be littering, but we will try and deal with this issue."

Irish Independent