Galway City has been pipped at the post to the title of Ireland’s cleanest city, with Kilkenny taking the honours in the 2012 litter survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL).
Galway City came in 15th place in the survey of towns and cities and was deemed ‘Cleaner than European Norms’ along with 21 others, with a further 13 classed as ‘Clean to European Norms’.
Cork, Limerick and Dublin City were all classified as moderately littered while Dublin’s north inner city was the only area surveyed that was deemed a litter blackspot.
The report on Galway City by An Taisce, who are charged with conducting the survey, said the result was a “really good result for Galway City”.
Twenty-five sites around the city were surveyed and, of those, 18 were deemed ‘Cleaner than European Norms’ while a further six sites were ‘Clean to European Norms’.
In particular, The Prom in Salthill and the car park in the area were singled out for praise as “an excellent site” that is “a credit to the users and those responsible for its maintenance”.
“Most of the approach roads and associated link roads into Galway City were in very good order, creating a very positive first impression of the city – this high standard was sustained for well over the majority of the sites surveyed.
Other very good sites included Galway Train Station, Salthill Park and Knocknacarra Retail Park, while most of the residential areas were also said to be in very good order.
Galway’s Ceannt Station was also the best performing train station nationally, with its platform described as ‘gleaming’.
However, Galwegians RFC on the Dublin Road was singled out by An Taisce inspectors as “by far the most heavily littered site surveyed in Galway”.
Responding to this, a spokesperson for the rugby club said they have being working with Galway City Council to prevent litter being dumped over the boundary walls onto club grounds. “This is an ongoing project which will return Crowley Park to a litter free zone,” he said.
Commenting on the overall result, Galway City Council commended local communities across the city and acknowledging the “great work being achieved by volunteers and businesses”.
“City Council also recognises the work being undertaken in partnership between Glan Suas Gaillimh, the City Centre Tidy Towns Group and City Council Litter Crews in achieving this great result,” a council spokesperson said.
Galway City Tidy Towns Chairperson Cllr Niall McNelis said he has always referred to Galway City Council’s street cleaning crews as “magicians, as they make the mess from the night before always disappear. They continue to perform magic and my thanks and appreciation go to them”.
He added that Galway City Tidy Towns Committee is currently planning this year’s entry into the national Tidy Towns Competition.
Tidy Towns meet each Saturday at 11am at Claddagh and Celtic beside Jury’s Hotel on the Spanish Arch and new volunteers are welcome.