Portlaoise has finished near the bottom of the table in the latest IBAL Anti-Litter League, with judges declaring Laois’ county town to be one of only seven towns out of 42 nationally to be deemed below European norms.
Only Mullingar and South Dublin received poorer scores in the league, leaving Portlaoise 40th out of 42 towns. This is a black mark against its litter management record as it continues to slide down the table for the third year running.
Ten different locations around the town are named in the report, with only two areas - the Killeshin Hotel on the Dublin Road and Hawthorn Drive - receiving a grade A. Of the others, Bull Lane, the railway station, O’Moore Park, Main Street, Lidl, the Mountmellick approach road, and Clonminam Business Park, all received a grade B, meaning there was litter found at these spots. The road between the town centre and the Gandon Court roundabout was deemed worst of all, receiving a grade C as “by far the most heavily littered site surveyed in Portlaoise”.
Among the comments made in the report was that “broken glass, grubby paving and heavy levels of cigarette butts and chewing gum were very much a feature on Bull Lane”. The car park at the railway station was described as “verging on becoming a serious litter problem”, and it was noted that there was “food related litter scattered outside the entrance to O’Moore Park and within the grounds”.
Judges noted there was “a general untidiness and lack of maintenance” at the Clonminam Business Park, which was described as “a littered site”. So bad was the business park that judges said it was lucky to receive a grade B. Meanwhile, features of Main Street were criticised as being “a little old and grubby/rusty”, with cigarette butts very prevalent.
At the opposite end of the scale, The Killeshin Hotel was deemed a top ranking site, while judges said Hawthorn Drive “has been so well respected and cared for” there was a complete absence of litter.
In their summation, judges said: “We would like to see Portlaoise move up the table – it does much better in the Tidy Towns but the IBAL Anti-Litter league is a 365 day programme. With just two top ranking sites Portlaoise was very much towards the bottom of the ranking.”