Galway regains its ‘clean’ rating in latest IBAL litter survey

Galway has shown a noticeable improvement in tackling litter in the final Irish Business Against Litter survey of 2015, published this week. The city was found to be clean to European norms, and ranked joint 25th among 40 towns and cities surveyed.

The latest survey found the city had improved from the inspectors’ previous visit, when the city was found to be moderately littered and ranked just 33rd in the quarterly litter league. The city was 34th in the 2014 rankings.

The An Taisce report for Galway, carried out on behalf of IBAL, found “a noticeable improvement” in some areas of the city surveyed. Seventeen of the 25 sites surveyed received a Grade A rating for cleanliness and visual appeal; the grading runs from A to D. A further six sites were given a B grade, with just two sites receiving a Grade C.

“There was a noticeable improvement in some of the Galway city sites, eg, Spanish Arch, [the] canal lock below Wolfe Tone Bridge, and Eglinton Canal Walk — the latter is well on its way to the top litter grade but not quite there yet,” the An Taisce report stated. “Some of the top ranking sites in Galway city included ... the residential area of Lios an Uisce which was very well presented and maintained. The grounds of Bon Secours Hospital were in excellent order. Renmore sports and leisure park is a wonderful open green space and was very well maintained. Renmore Garrison Church and memorial were both pristine.”

Other Grade A sites in the city included Grianach House School on the Old Dublin Road, Merlin Park Hospital, the R338 road from Oranmore into the city, Scoil Chaitriona in Renmore, the marina area at Galway Harbour, St Mary’s Dominican Church in The Claddagh, and Eyre Square Shopping Centre.

Galwegians RFC grounds, the park at Lough Atalia Road, the Bruach na Coiribe river walk, the walk along the Eglinton Canal, and Salthill Promenade received a Grade B in the latest survey. The M18/N18 road also scored a B, with the inspector noting that the N18 into the city was cleaner than the rural M18, which was found to moderately littered along its length.

Galway Docks and the recycling banks at Claude Toft Park in Salthill were the only sites in the city to be scored a Grade C.

Three quarters of the towns and cities surveyed in the latest litter league were found to be clean to European norms, a fall of 15 per cent on last year. Likewise, the number of towns deemed cleaner than European norms fell from 17 to 12.

See the map below for full details on each site surveyed.

Across the country, recycling facilities and disused or abandoned sites were the sites most prone to litter, followed by promenades and river walks.

Galway Tidy Towns chairman Cllr Niall McNelis welcomed the latest results, though he expressed concern about problems noted by the An Taisce inspectors including dog fouling on Salthill Prom, despite several notices asking people to clean up after their dogs, and dumping at bottle banks.

“I wish IBAL would tell us what date they visited the city so we could check and see could anything have been improved that day,” Cllr McNelis added. “Thanks to the city council street cleaning crews who, bright and early, rain or shine, do their best for the city.”

For full details on the Galway report, with an interactive map of all sites surveyed, see


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