Dismay over latest IBAL results

Roscommon falls to 29th place in latest litter ratings

Local councillor and chairperson of Roscommon Tidy Towns, Kathleen Shanagher, has expressed her disappointment following the publication of the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) anti-litter league ratings, which saw ‘Littered’ Roscommon town fall to 29th place overall.

Cllr. Shanagher said that while volunteers and the local authority would take the An Taisce report on board, there remained questions around the remit and methods used to carry out the survey.

“The latest rankings are disappointing of course,” she told the Roscommon People this week.

“There were a few areas highlighted in the survey, most of which are privately owned, so we will contact the owners and inform them of the results.

“But Roscommon is a Gold Medal winner in the national Tidy Towns Awards and we’re beginning to question what it is we’re actually getting from these IBAL surveys. Our volunteers take great pride in the town and work hard to keep it clean and tidy. We will use this as constructive criticism and take the results of the survey into the Tidy Towns competition in June, but I feel the negative publicity it generates is unhelpful”.

Cllr. Shanagher said that while specific categories were under consideration during Tidy Towns judging, An Taisce’s remit for IBAL rankings is less clear. She also highlighted that some of the areas surveyed were outside the control of local volunteers and Roscommon County Council staff.

The An Taisce report for Roscommon town stated: ‘There has been an overall drop in Roscommon’s performance compared to a number of years ago when it was a strong performer. The only two top-ranking sites were approach roads into the town, with none in the town centre.

‘If some of the moderately littered sites improved somewhat it could make a big difference (such as) Lidl, Main Street, Church Street and the laneway beside Roscommon Fire Station.

‘The sites which need attention include the laneway off Main Street (leading to Matrix Gym), carpark at corner of Henry Street and Church Street, and the carpark/truck parking adjacent to Casey’s’.

The report added that PPE litter was on the increase in the town, and IBAL has frequently criticised local authorities for their failure in cleaning up areas identified as litter blackspots.

It claims that of 89 such sites highlighted in summer last year, only 33 per cent had been addressed by the time of this most recent survey.

The overall result saw Naas finish ahead of Portlaoise and Ennis to record its first win in the annual rankings while there was a slight fall in the number of clean towns nationwide, down to 22.