*Photograph: John Mangan
Ennis has achieved the highest cleanliness level in the most recent Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) nationwide litter survey, with eight out of 10 sites surveyed in the town being awarded the top litter grade.
Carried out by An Taisce, the survey commended Ennis for being “cleaner than European norms”. Examples of the top-ranking sites included Abbey Street Car Park, Ennis Bus and Train Station, Abbey Street, Tim Smythe Park and Clare County Museum.
Gort Road Business Park was by far the most heavily littered site surveyed, a couple of isolated areas within the business park took away from the remaining clean areas.
Overall, Ennis was ranked sixth out of 40 towns and cities in the 2020 IBAL Anti-Litter League – Round 1. The positive result comes less than a week after Ennis was named the winner in the 14,000+ population category at the Bank of Ireland ‘Begin Together’ Awards, which selected Ennis as Ireland’s most enterprising town in this category.
It was the first nationwide litter survey by IBAL since COVID-19. There was a dramatic fall in the number of towns and cities deemed to be ‘clean’, to its lowest level since 2007. Kilkenny was again judged best of the surveyed, with ‘seriously littered’ Dublin North Inner City at the foot of the table. The survey showed PPE litter to be widespread and a rise in the prevalence of cans and glass bottles.
Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) welcomed the results and believed it heightened Ennis’ appeal as a place to live, work and visit. Senior executive officer with the Ennis Municipal District, Leonore O’Neill felt the result reflected the hard work of Council staff, street-cleaning crews, the gardening section of the local authority and local community and voluntary groups, “It’s a credit to the general public and reflects the strong community spirit that we have in Ennis”.
Chairman of Ennis Tidy Towns, Cormac McCarthy expressed his delight with the findings. “Litter management in the town is a concerted effort by not only Tidy Towns volunteers but by Ennis MD staff and local businesses. We would warmly welcome new volunteers to join our ranks, such as our local Hope Church congregation, who undertook a dedicated clean-up of the railway station recently. We were delighted to see the railway station improve its ranking to grade A in this survey.”
“Achieving the highest level in the IBAL nationwide litter survey is testament to the effort and commitment that goes into maintaining the town’s cleanliness. Ennis is a medieval town characterised by charming streetscapes, and its appeal is greatly enhanced by a clean, litter-free environment,” Director of Services with the Physical Development Directorate of the Council, Carmel Kirby stated.