The trailer loads of rubbish collected over a five-hour period.

‘Lockdown’ litter worse than ever before

DISMAY Shocking levels of litter dumped on roadside

The volume of litter being picked from the sides of roads by community volunteers has been greater during lockdown than ever experienced before.

That’s the view of one community activist, who cleared several dozen bags of rubbish and a plethora of household items from a single two-kilometre stretch of road near Killeshandra last week.

Tables, baby seats, and even a large bag of children’s DVDs were found discarded at one site. Tricia O’Reilly, her sister Michelle and her 10-year-old niece Naofa, also counted and collected upwards of 60 empty spirit and beer bottles from the local hedgerows along the R199 Killeshandra to Ballyconnell road, between Killatawney out to Whitefield Cross.

It took five hours along the busy main road route to clean the litter, and two trailer runs to eventually dispose of the mess.

The shocking results were posted online by Tricia, who told the Celt afterwards she was aghast at the end realising how much rubbish had been collected. “It was incredible,” says Tricia, who was involved in a similar local clean-up in May of last year.


At one site along the 2km route, Tricia explained: “It seemed as if someone just emptied the contents of their house out on the side of the road. We had glass tables, and in one bag there must’ve been hundreds of children’s DVDs in it. There were children’s seats, a pram. They’d just decided this was the best place to dump it rather than bringing it to a recycling facility. It was horrendous. It was really desperate.” What’s most upsetting is, no sooner had the family cleared the rubbish, the following morning they discovered people had started littering the hedgerows once again.

“I run it every day, and already rubbish is starting to appear again. It’s obviously people driving, throwing out pizza boxes, coffee cups or whatever, but it’s hard to take especially when you’ve gone to so much work only to find it happen again so soon.”

Tricia, whose own parents were active members of the Killeshandra Tidy Towns committee over the years praised the determined work of current cohort of local litter picking volunteers.

Tricia’s litter picking was part of a co-ordinated effort, and she noted too the group’s hard-working chair Anne Shanley whose husband Charlie helped collect the rubbish with trailers.

“It’s worse now than it’s ever been. I’ve never seen litter to the level it has been at the moment. [Killeshandra] is a beautiful town, and we love our area. That’s why it’s so upsetting to see rubbish and litter happening.”