A man and woman before Ballina District Court this week on litter charges were given the opportunity by Judge Mary Devins to escape a fine, if instead they cleaned up “their own filth”.
The litter warden, Josephine Armstrong, received a complaint of littering on November 23 in the Knockmore area, and on November 25 with Liam Rabbitte, environmental enforcement officer, visited the site where 50 to 100 bags of rubbish were present. Along with these, there were doors, windows, mattresses, and electrical items dumped.
Evidence was found in bags belonging to Martin Brian Langdon, 36 Tyrawley Terrace, Ballina, and Lucy Langdon, 66 Collins Park, Ballina. Neither defendant has previous litter convictions.
The court heard that the area has not yet been cleaned, and previously three clean ups cost the council €15,000. Costs of €600 per defendant were being sought.
Judge Mary Devins asked the solicitors for the 46-year-old uncle and his 21-year-old niece if their clients would be prepared to clean up their rubbish rather than paying a fine. This was agreed, and Judge Devins adjourned the matter for mention to October 12 to make sure that this was done. If the area was cleaned the judge said she would direct that just costs would be furnished.
Judge Devins said she would like to understand the psychology of “why we are such a dirty nation,” however, she commended the active litter wardens and litter prosecutions in Mayo.