Portlick littering is ‘unforgivable’

Bonfires and littering in Portlick amenity area on the shores of Lough Ree has been condemned as “unforgivable” with several reports of groups camping and drinking in the area in recent days.

A popular spot for walkers, the sight which greeted them mid-week was not a pretty one; uncooked burgers, camping chairs, burnt earth where there were bonfires, and bottles and cans were strewn all over a site in the middle of the woods near old ruins.

Several large bags of rubbish were collected by a local person who took it upon themselves to clean up the area afterwards and left them at the council bin towards the entrance for collection.

While Cllr John Dolan said he understands that people, particularly younger people want to meet and chat, what annoyed him most is that they did not clean up after themselves.

“To litter such a beauty spot is unforgivable,” he said on Friday. “It's a unique spot and it is for the enjoyment of everyone. People need to respect the place and tidy up after themselves. You should leave it in the condition you find it,” added Cllr Dolan.

With a bin down there, people can have no excuses either for leaving litter thrown around such a popular amenity, and it's not fair on local people or the council who are then forced to clean up the mess of others, according to the Fine Gael councillor.

Having bonfires and BBQs in Portlick carries an additional danger during such a dry spell, and a blaze could spread rapidly through vegetation and trees, he warned.

With €150,000 due to spent shortly on updating trails in Portlick, Cllr Dolan said it's a minority who feel they can just dump rubbish in such a beautiful area, and that is simply not acceptable.