“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – “Who will guard the guards themselves?”

Irish Business Against Litter

A survey recently conducted by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) indicates that only 16% of Irish waterways are presently clean to European standards. This survey found that while the majority of Irish towns are clean, its waterways are far from similar.

The business group studied 42 beaches, harbours and river areas around Ireland, revealing that only one in six were deemed as being ‘clean’, while 14% were classed as ‘littered or ‘heavily littered’.

These surveyed areas included in this report were monitored by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce over the course of the summer of 2019.

Thurles Not Included In IBAL Survey:

I should point out that Thurles town and the River Suir were not inspected as part of this survey. I am given to understand that because of limited government funding, Thurles remains excluded. I have been advised by IBAL that I should contact the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Mr Richard Bruton, TD and request that Thurles be included. [Note: A letter is currently winging its way, as we write.]

Pictured today on the west bank of the River Suir Thurles, close to the new foot bridge; litter waiting for the next flood to be borne away to the sea.

Mr Conor Horgan of IBAL said the survey was about protecting tourism and recreational assets, but was equally about overall global impact. He correctly stated, “The litter we encounter in these areas will eventually enter our seas and add to the already problem of marine litter, which is threatening our very survival.”

Thanks to the heroic work of the English natural historian and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough (CBE), same who has highlighted the potential impact of marine litter on our climate worldwide in his televised programmes; we no longer have an excuse, based on ignorance of the current situation. We are fully aware of the billions of kilos of discarded plastic to be found, in swirling convergences, in our planets oceans and growing more in extent rapidly.

Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (EPA)

Just one week prior to the local County Council Elections in Thurles; latter which took place on Friday, May 24th of this year (2019), Tipperary County Council demonstrated further deficiencies in their inadequate and meagre attempt at cleaning the river Suir here in Thurles. The work, photographed by Thurles.Info, was reminiscent of someone going about with a stick beating the heads of weeds. They did however unlike other previous years, manage to remove much of the weeds and slime on view in the water, which was holding back a mysterious oily, foam-like substance. However, with the regrowth of slime, this oily, foam-like substance is once more being detained for all to see.

Pictures below were taken yesterday (September 4th 2019). Other photographs taken on the 11th of May 2019, prior to this half-hearted pre-election clean-up, were sent to the EPA in August.

Reply received from the EPA on August 28th 2019 reads:-

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges receipt of your correspondence on 16/08/19 concerning the River Suir at Barry’s Bridge, Thurles, Co. Tipperary (Our Ref COM009271).
Tipperary County Council is responsible for dealing with the environmental protection issues described in your correspondence.
We have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to Tipperary County Council for their attention, action and direct reply to you.

The referral of this correspondence closes our file on this issue. This is now a matter for Tipperary County Council to investigate and take the action as appropriate.

Furthermore, we recommend that you report any further issues in relation to this matter, preferably in writing to Tipperary County Council Environment Department.

If you have any questions in relation to this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of my colleagues on 053-9160600.

Trusting this is of assistance to you.
Yours sincerely
Cyrina Okoro
(Office of Environmental Enforcement,
Environmental Protection Agency,
Johnstown Castle Estate,
Co Wexford.)

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – “Who will guard the guards themselves?”

Environmental Officials from Tipperary Co. Council have since been directly in touch with me, and for the second time this year same officials have asked – “Where in Thurles, is Barry’s Bridge“.

Time again to regain control of our historic town and to set up a new working Tidy Towns Group. Anyone interested please contact me?


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