Thursday 17 October 2019

Clean it up! campaign

One of the spray paint messages stencilled onto footpaths in Strandhill. Pic: Cllr Keith Henry
One of the spray paint messages stencilled onto footpaths in Strandhill. Pic: Cllr Keith Henry

Sorcha Crowley at Sligo County Council meeting

The Council is stepping up a campaign to rid our streets of dog fouling.

Sinn Féin Councillor Chris MacManus raised the issue, claiming dog fouling was "unpleasant, a nuisance and a public health issue."

"Irresponsible dog owners need to get the message that their laziness could put a child in hospital," he told the meeting.

Council officials told Cllr MacManus that they raised ¤2,250 from 44 litter fines issued in 2017 and 3,600 from fines issued in 2016 and 2015.

The Environment Section has also been stencilling on footpaths in badly affected areas of Tubbercurry, Grange, Coolaney, Riverside, Greenfort and Rusheen Ard as part of an awareness raising initiative to highlight the problem.

Cllr MacManus said he was surprised that Strandhill Beach was left out of the pilot initiative.

"Apart from the unpleasantness, it causes a serious health risk, especially to children," he said.

"And I should point out that most dog owners act in a responsible manner, keeping dogs on leashes and being prepared for dog fouling. However, there is an irresponsible minority.

"And it is unfortunate that they get off scot free, as the small number of fines issued by most local authorities is indicative of a process that is difficult to enforce as the dog and its owner must be caught in the act.

"I believe the Litter Act should be reviewed with heavier fines and dogs removed from owners for repeat offences. Dog owners need to do their civic duty. They need to realise that when their dog fouls it's a potential hazard that may leave a child in hospital," he concluded.

Cllr Keith Henry said he was "delighted" to see the council responding so quickly to a similar motion of his tabled earlier in the year by spraying paint stencils onto footpaths.

Sligo Champion