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Council hit out at individuals ‘acting against us’ in light of IBAL report

Director of Services Paddy Donnelly aired his displeasure that work being carried out by the local authority continues to be undermined.

Peter Street
A view of Peter Street, Drogheda. Photo Credit: William Murphy/Flickr Creative Commons License.

A small number of individuals acting against efforts to keep Drogheda tidy are responsible for Drogheda’s drop down the IBAL Litter League rankings in 2019. That is the conclusion of Director of Services Paddy Donnelly of Louth County Council who hit out at those people on Monday evening.

Donnelly was speaking at the January meeting of the Drogheda Borough Council in Barlow House and he commented on the Irish Business Against Litter survey for 2019 which was released earlier in the day. Drogheda, having finished seventh in the rankings in 2018 fell to 31st this time and there were some scathing comments in the town’s report carried out by An Taisce.

“The positive thing is that Drogheda have retained their ranking,” Donnelly said. “There are a number of disappointing comments which are still being investigated.”

In particular, the Director of Services was particularly critical of graffiti artists who have renewed their markings in areas already cleaned by council staff this year. Donnelly claimed Louth County Council spent €1 million a year providing such services and supporting community groups who do similar.

Graffiti was referenced only once in the report – on West Gate House, which had been subject to a major clean up before the Fleadh but has since become covered in some graffiti marks and been used as a dumping ground for fly tipping and other rubbish.

How IBAL rated West Gate House (D)

‘The front of this building was actually freshly presented but the area between the rear and the road has been used as a dumping ground – it was in a shocking state. As well as heavy levels of graffiti on the building, bags and bags of rubbish and a myriad of other large items were strewn on the stair well and the overgrowth.’

“Some areas, despite investment from ourselves in relation to this, have suffered some recent graffiti. This is the result of an offence caused by someone locally or visiting the area. There’s renewed graffiti in areas where we spent significant time and resources and finances removing it. It is disappointing to see that failure.”

However, he refused to accept the poor comments in the IBAL report were due to operational failings on the council’s part. He said a number of fines have been issues in relation to such activity.

“A lot of these are not as a result of operational shortcomings. It’s a result of poor practice by a number of unidentified individuals,” he said. “It is frustrating when we continue to provide these services and provide expenditure of over €1 million a year and we find an uphill battle because of a small number of individuals who continue to act against us despite the best efforts of the majority of people in the town.

“The results have been impacted for the first time this year in a negative way,” he concluded.

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