Galway has jumped seven points to 21st place in the latest survey from the Irish Business Against Litter group securing its current status as the cleanest of Ireland’s four main cities.
While the report praised Galway city for showing the “way for other cities in Ireland” there was also much praise this week for the street cleaning crew, with Galway City Tidy Towns committee chairperson and city councillor Niall McNelis describing them as “magicians”. The Labour councillor also cited the dedication and sense of pride in the area shown by groups within the business community.
The results of the IBAL survey released on Monday show that Galway city is again “clean to European norms” and is now in 21st position in the ranking of 40 areas surveyed, a major step up from the 2013 survey which saw the city rank 28. Kilkenny and Cavan were named Ireland’s cleanest towns and were among 18 towns to be deemed cleaner than the European average.
Inspectors praised Galway city for having “so many top ranking sites”, adding that the majority of these sites were “not just clear of litter but nicely presented and maintained”. However, there were two areas given grade C and found to be “seriously littered”. These were the Galway courthouse building and environs where a wide variety of food related litter and cigarette butts were discarded and the recycling facility behind Joyce’s Shopping Centre in Knocknacarra which was in a “pretty poor state”. Joyce’s Shopping Centre itself was given a grade A rating with a “virtual absence of litter” and clearly marked car parking spaces.
Sixteen other areas within the city given grade A ranking (clean to European norms and virtual absence of litter ) include Shop Street; St Patrick’s Primary School; Franciscan Abbey, Francis Street; Town Hall Theatre; Court House Square (residential area ); the NUI Galway Corrib Greenway (a walk/cycle path along the banks of River Corrib ); the playground off University Road; NUI Galway campus; University Hospital Galway; Crestwood, Coolough, Menlo; the approach from Lackagh Quarry to the junction with Dyke Road; Eamonn Deacy Park; Dyke Road recycling facility; Galway Shopping Centre; Dunnes Stores Terryland car park; and the R337 from Threadneedle Road to Joyce’s Shopping Centre in Knocknacarra. The six areas to receive grade B (moderately littered, scattered small amounts of litter ) include St Nicholas Collegiate Church; Bridge Street; Bruach na Corrib boardwalk; the John Behan sculpture ‘Equality Emerging’ and environs (opposite the Cathedral ); the car park at University Hospital Galway; and Terryland retail park.
Commenting on the survey, Cllr McNelis said Galway city had “really upped its game” and was only three points away from being deemed cleaner than European norms.
“We’re the cleanest of the large cities which is excellent when you consider that just €1.5 million is being spent on street cleaning by Galway City Council, compared to the €3.5 million spent in Limerick and just under €7 million in Cork. The council staff should be complimented. They come into the city in the morning and transform the place, like magicians. There are a number of groups in the business community who also spend a lot of time cleaning and show pride in their area,” said Cllr McNelis.
View our interactive map to see how IBAL inspectors graded each area in Galway.