Surveillance Cameras Needed at Dumping Blackspots

Kathleen and Joan Brosnan pictured at the site of the dumping of domestic refuse in Cordal on Good Friday afternoon. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Hope Springs Eternal. A Dandelion growing in the centre of a tarred road in Cordal. ©Photograph: John Reidy

In the wake of one of the most widely answered calls to volunteerism just over a week ago, the county looked the most cared for in the country.

Hundreds of people donned the hi-vis vest and clutching a red bag and a litter picker and waged war on discarded wrappers, drinks cans, bags and bottles along miles of roads and botharíns.

National Headlines

The campaign made national headlines – maybe only because of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s visit to the troops/volunteers on the front-line in Killarney – but it was still national news.

Fast forward almost a week out and mind-set away, I have to show you something I was asked to visit and photograph on Good Friday afternoon.

The two ladies and sisters, Joan and Kathleen Brosnan were involved in the big Saturday, KWD inspired clean-up in their native Cordal.

In Stark Contrast

Like almost everywhere else they left the place spotless in their wake. Imagine their horror earlier this week when the found the scene in the photograph and the feelings of near despair at the thoughtlessness of the perpetrators.

The musical sounds of a little stream gurgling its way down off the mountain through Coom and Knockatee was in stark contrast to the ugliness foisted upon it in the days after the big clean-up.

Dumped in the Stream

Joan and Kathleen returned with their litter pickers and bin bags and picked up what they could from the roadside to keep the wind from blowing it around the area.

They would have done more but for the fear that rats may well be lurking in the bags of very domestic waste which had been dumped into the stream itself.

This is no reflection at all on the people of the area as the perpetrators may not be from the immediate neighbourhood at all.

Recyclable Goods

One of the astounding facts of this and other dumpings in this general area is that the majority of the stuff in the bags is made up of recyclable goods.

I photographed a similar site very close to the heart of Castleisland town a couple of weeks ago and, here again, bags of drinks cans and other recyclables made up the bulk of the offending material.

Creatures of habit we are and, as such, we should be sitting ducks for identification on increasingly improving and affordable surveillance cameras.

Unadulterated Ignorance

Take in the beauty, loneliness and wilderness of the areas these people pick as their personal dumps, and try to reconcile it with the unadulterated ignorance they show in doing so.

There’s no way in this world you can juggle these images and hope for a satisfactory outcome. Neither is there a way to avoid the feelings of anger and despair which grip you on coming across a site of wild beauty on which the gross reality of modern day living has been foisted.

Good Friday Feelings

Having finished my picture session with Joan and Kathleen I took myself off up towards the mountain and I declare to God it lifted my Good Friday feelings.

There in the middle of a Mohican road a Dandelion grew defiantly and proud. It has to fight to live there but it has a huge advantage in its location, location, location.

It’s growing right in the centre of the narrow road where no four wheeled vehicle can encroach on its patch and it’s making the very colourful most of the hand it’s been dealt. Mount Calvary came to mind.

On Stony Ground

It’s cousins on the ‘mainland’ of the grass margins looked fuller and seemed to be enjoying the company of their peers.

But this seed fell on stony ground and is doing fine – thank you very much. There’s hope for us all.

Castleisland Tidy Towns will be starting its weekly volunteer-an-hour nights on Tuesday, April 30th, weather permitting.

They meet at The Fountain at 6.30 pm and work for an hour. The work involves general tidying, weeding and deadheading.

No experience necessary and it’s an equal opportunity exercise. In other words: Men are most certainly eligible.

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