The cleanest town in Ireland has been revealed
Kildare has been named as the cleanest town in Ireland, according to a new national litter league.
The annual league, which is produced by Irish Business Against Litter (Ibal), was released today and it confirms the top spot has gone to the Lillywhiltes.
The town finished finished ahead of Roscommon and Ashbourne, with Waterford City in fourth. A special public sculpture will be commissioned for the town to mark the achievement.
70% of the 40 towns and cities surveyed in 2016 were at least as clean as their European equivalents, a decrease on the previous year.
An Taisce, which conducts the surveys on behalf of IBAL, commented in its report on Kildare: “It is rare to find a town in such spotless condition throughout. The Link Road and both approach roads into Kildare Town got the top litter grade and this high standard was sustained for all sites surveyed.”
It wasn't all good news as Dublin North Inner city was listed as "seriously littered in the survey".
Out of the 40 areas across the country examined, Galvone in Co Limerick and Farranree in Co Cork were also judged to be "seriously littered".
Social Democrat councillor and north inner city resident Gary Gannon described the litter as "disgusting".
"There is a real need for an effective and efficient system," he said. "The private waste management companies have been unsatisfactory, and I think people would be willing to pay for a real, effective system.
"We're finding ourselves in a situation where people will resort to the black economy and there will be more and more dumping in the inner city."
An Taisce inspectors, who helped compile the league, highlighted a number of blackspots within the north inner city.
Gardiner Lane was found to be "very neglected", with vandalism, graffiti and dumping in evidence on Railway Street and playgrounds in the area. Aldborough Place, Rutland Street and Poplar Row were all seriously littered, according to the report.
"We have seen the efforts and investment of Dublin City Council in this area, and this result is a disappointment after the progress of the previous year," Conor Horgan, from Ibal, said.
"Managing an urban area of this nature is problematic, and we hope this is just a blip on the way to sustained improvement."
"I can't see what they see, and I am very much opposing it," Sinn Féin councillor for Farranree, Kenneth Collins, said.
"Calling us the litter louts is wrong. This is an area where the demographic is very old and people like to look after the area."
Anti Austerity Alliance councillor for Limerick East Paul Keller said the league was "overly critical of what was wrong". He said despite cutbacks in the budget, "the council has been making huge efforts to try to reduce the problem".
A total of 70pc of the towns and cities surveyed by An Taisce on behalf of Ibal were found to be "clean to European norms", compared with 85pc two years ago.
Ashbourne, Kildare, Roscommon, Thurles and Waterford City were listed at the cleanest, with the winner to be announced on this afternoon.