LETTERS to the editor
I AM originally from Bray in County Wicklow but I have been living in Dungarvan, County Waterford for the past 7 years.
As a recent returnee to the sport of cycling I am have been enjoying travelling around my adopted county of Waterford on my bike on weekend cycles.
The county has a stunning coastline with some spectacular spots such as An Rinn, Ardmore, Sradbally in the west of the county and I have also been as far down as Boatstrand and Tramore to the east of the Waterford.
On my visits home to Bray every few weekends, I have also been rediscovering some of the old routes that myself and my friends used to take around the County of Wicklow.
I have been up The Sugarloaf again and all the way down to Glendalough, I have been up through Enniskerry and further up to Glencree and on to the German War Cemetery and then back through the Sally Gap.
This whole area and specifically the views and scenery here are quite simply stunning and make me very proud of my native county.
Unfortunately on my drives back up to Bray I have consistently noticed a massive amount of litter on the N11 all the way through the entire length of the county.
On St.Stephen's Day I cycled down from Bray to Ashford and I was in fact pleasantly surprised as most of the litter on the southbound side of the N11 seems to be gone now. On my return leg, on the northbound side of the road, it was a different story as the roadside is heavily littered and for mile after mile County Wicklow is basically an open-plan rubbish tip.
You can not travel more than a few feet before encountering beer cans, pizza boxes, plastic bags and every other piece of rubbish you can possibly imagine. Surely I am not the first person to notice this?
The M11 / N11 spans the entire length of our county and unless Wicklow County Council have a surprise marketing strategy in place on promoting the fact that the county's main road is the most littered road in the whole of Ireland, then I see no benefit whatsoever in leaving the road in such a state.
It's obvious that the roadside has not been cleared for years and as someone who regularly travels the length and breath of the country with my job I was genuinely shocked at the levels of litter I saw. I know that the real issue here is the fact that a minority of people think that it is acceptable to throw rubbish from their cars and spoil the place for the rest of us, but the fact remains that the litter is not going to suddenly disappear itself. With the influx of thousands of new tourists into the county in 2013 and with The Gathering festival in full flow, I think that Wicklow County Council will need to act very fast if Wicklow is not to become commonly know as something other than ' The
Garden of Ireland'.
Cathal O'Hare Dungarvan, County Waterford
Litter on the N11 northbound at Glen of the Downs.