THIS shocking collection of snapshots clearly highlights the appalling mess Killarney Municipal District Council outdoor staff encounter the morning after the night before as they face the considerable task of cleaning up the filth left by others.
These images were taken shortly before 8 o’clock last Monday morning as the street cleaning crew put the big clean up into operation.
Unfortunately, it’s something they are faced with every day as broken bottles, shards of glass, fast food containers, drained alcohol bottles, thousands of cigarette butts, drinks containers and, more recently, discarded face masks are tossed on to the streets and left there to become someone else’s problem.
The early morning filth on the street is nothing new but it appears to have become significantly worse during the pandemic with open air drinks parties becoming a feature of weekend nights with buses of young people being ferried in from other areas to join in the revelry.
It is important to stress, of course, that it is not a problem exclusive to Killarney and local authority crews in similar sized towns all over the country are experiencing the same situation but, as the top tourist town in the country, it is something that certainly could be done without.
Despite the recklessness and lack of civic spirit demonstrated by the late night litter louts, Killarney remains one of the tidiest towns in the country – as the town’s brilliant performance in the Irish Business Against Litter league clearly highlights – but it’s no thanks to those who casually discard their rubbish under the cover of darkness.
Broken glass is proving to be particularly hazardous and at a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District Council, it was stressed that there is an urgent need for local bye-laws relating to the consumption of alcohol in public areas to be properly communicated and enforced to tackle problems arising from people congregating and drinking on the streets.
Cllr Niall Kelleher said people are buying drink in supermarkets and off-licences and gathering on the streets in groups and, in the process, they are leaving the town in a dreadful mess, particularly at weekends.
“At 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning to see parts of our town and what council workers and the tidy towns volunteers are having to deal with, with the amount of glass on the streets, is just too much,” he said.
“The work they do to get it clean is absolutely heroic. For people to be coming in with glass bottles that they are taking out of the back of their cars, which were imported from off-licences not even in this town, is a problem,” Cllr Kelleher added.
The photographs here were submitted to KillarneyToday.com by William Sheahan of Sheahan’s Pharmacy on Main Street who suggested they be published to enable the public to salute the great work of the council staff whose job is to have Killarney looking its best from early morning.
It might also encourage those responsible to think twice before discarding their filth in future.