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24/04/2015 - Council thanks communities for massive county wide clean up



Communities and Tidy Towns groups all over Donegal rolled up their sleeves and took to the highways and byways of the county last weekend to take part in the Big Donegal Clean Up.


The volunteers reported finding a varying degree of littering from household waste to the usual mixture of empty bottles, cans, containers and litter.


Donegal County Council’s Director of Water and Environment, Joe Peoples, praised the efforts of all groups saying their help was invaluable.


“Their continued voluntary efforts certainly go a long way to help keeping our county in pristine condition particularly as we welcome visitors from all around the world. I applaud their civic minded spirit and dedication and want to reassure the public that the council is committed to re-doubling its effort in the pursuit of those who are responsible for littering our county,” he said.


The biggest concentration of activities was in and around the Inishowen Peninsula where many groups were involved. Indeed some felt it was their most successful outing since the initiative began.


“It was a great vote of support that people came out in great numbers from Malin Head to Manorcunningham gathering hundreds of bags of rubbish that otherwise would blight the beautiful scenic peninsula,” said Inishowen Municipal District Litter Warden, Pearse McCrory.


“Credit is due to all who got involved in any way demonstrating their civic pride: the groups that participated; Mary McCallion, Inishowen Development Partnership who once again very kindly wrote to the many community groups within the peninsula to inform them of the clean up; those individuals who collected the bags and anybody who helped out in way.”


There were also clean up crews out in Manorcunningham, Carrigans, Killea, and Newtowncunningham.


There are also plans to organise people that live at different locations along the Newtown to Killea Road to do a litter pick up along their own locations. This will ensure that this road shall be done this time and will also stand a better chance of remaining maintained.


Kathleen Grant and her team in Burt were also out in action and collected a diverse selection of materials dumped along the road. She paid tribute to the Burt-Skeog group and indeed everyone who gave of their time on the day and added clean ups would be taking place on an ongoing basis in their area.


Up in the north of the county Robin Law and his band of volunteers cleaned up Marble Hill beach, dunes and surrounding roads collecting 24 bags of rubbish in the process.


“It was mostly plastic items that were collected along with glass and cans. Our most serious problems with rubbish are often caused by people partying on the beach or dunes who leave all their cans and bottles (sometimes unopened) and who have a bonfire sometimes using nearby fencing as fuel! They also think it is great fun to smash their glass bottles,” he said.


In Letterkenny the local Venture Scouts group were in action out in Newmills. They managed to collect a sizable load but plan to return to the area this coming Saturday, April 19. Great to see the young people making an important contribution to the community of which they are a part of.


At the other end of the county groups were busy too. In the south-west people from Kilcar were out last Saturday cleaning up the Muckross Road which straddles the coast to a nearby beach.


Organiser Rachel Carr said they collected about 30 bags which included a lot of plastic and bottle tops.


“We were happy to discover less household rubbish than usual. Maybe people are realising that it is important to keep places along the Wild Atlantic Way as clean as possible.”


She added their group would be out again on Wednesday, April 22 and following that on Saturday May 9 and Wednesday May 13.


In Ballyshannon approximately 45 people turned out to help with their big clean up day event. Organiser Eugene Dolan revealed they covered a big area and gathered the usual rubbish.  He expressed dismayed at the increase in the number of alcohol bottles they found but overall the community spirit was good and workers did well, he said.


He added they hoped to organise a clean up for the Belleek Road area shortly as it was badly littered with rubbish and takeaway materials and that didn’t leave one of the main entrances to the town in a good light, he said.


These initiatives are run in conjunction with An Taisce’s National Spring Clean which takes place this month. Now an established part of the Donegal County Council’s community calendar, the event gathers momentum each year with more and more people getting involved.


To register for National Spring Clean call (01) 4002219 or register online at


If you need any assistance contact Donegal County Council on (074) 91 53900





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