New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By DAVID LOOBY

A DOG DIRT epi­demic is de­stroy­ing New Ross town’s streets.

This is how Cllr An­thony Con­nick sees it. Cllr Con­nick, who vol­un­teers with New Ross Tidy Towns, said: ‘It’s ab­so­lutely bru­tal; worse than I’ve ever seen it. It’s all over walk­ing routes across the town and over Christ­mas it was dread­ful.’

Cllr Con­nick said mothers push­ing prams and wheel­chair users are par­tic­u­larly af­fected. ‘It’s hard enough get­ting it off your shoe, but for some­one in a wheel­chair or a mother push­ing a buggy, it’s a night­mare as it comes in con­tact with the hand.’

He said on-the-spot fines neeed to be im­posed, call­ing on the pub­lic to be vig­i­lant for the prob­lem and to re­port the own­ers of of­fend­ing dogs to the Tholsel.

‘Fines are the only way we are go­ing to stop this. We, along with fore­man Henry Rochford, put up nine dog bins last year around the town for the con­ve­nience of peo­ple. They are be­ing used but clearly not enough peo­ple are us­ing them. I am get­ting calls about this non stop and loads of peo­ple are re­port­ing dog dirt on the streets at The Tholsel.’

De­scrib­ing the prob­lem as ‘mas­sive’, Cllr Con­nick said it is dam­ag­ing the town’s rep­u­ta­tion.

‘It’s on­line, it’s in the pub­lic do­main. The coun­cil are go­ing to have to start fin­ing peo­ple. We have loads of peo­ple vol­un­teer­ing who are look­ing af­ter our town. We have to start in­still­ing in more peo­ple, in the pub­lic, the need to re­port and make com­plaints, for the sake of the town.

‘It’s like a child, par­ents must clean up af­ter their chil­dren and dog own­ers should clean up af­ter their pets.’

Over re­cent weeks large swathes of the town cen­tre foot­paths have been smeared and sul­lied with dog dirt.

Ex­ec­u­tive En­gi­neer Abra­ham Dunne said he has had to di­rect his out­door staff to wash down South Street foot­paths and other streets on the town cen­tre due to the scale of the fae­cal de­posits.

Mr Dunne said: ‘ The New Ross Dis­trict Of­fice is re­ceiv­ing an in­creased num­ber of com­plaints re­gard­ing dog foul­ing and lit­ter or dumped rub­bish on the streets and green ar­eas in town. It seems to be get­ting grad­u­ally worse.

‘ The clean­ing up af­ter dogs and lit­ter is plac­ing ad­di­tional strain on both the coun­cil work­ers who do a great job keep­ing the town clean and also the fi­nan­cial bud­get al­lo­cated for dis­posal of waste. The coun­cil ap­peals to peo­ple to clean up af­ter their dogs and dis­pose of their waste prop­erly as it both un­sightly and is a po­ten­tial health haz­ard. I am urg­ing peo­ple to pick up af­ter their dogs. It’s across the whole town cen­tre, from South Street to North Street and Mary Street.’

Com­plaints have also been raised by res­i­dents of the pop­u­lar dog walk­ing area in Castle­moyle where the two new pri­mary schools are lo­cated and along Irishtown, Neville Street and the ring road.

‘Our guys are do­ing their best. The ur­ban cen­tre where you have a lot of peo­ple and chil­dren and shops and busi­nesses hav­ing to side step that kind of stuff is not nice.

New Ross Mu­nic­i­pal staff have also been tack­ling ris­ing in­ci­dences of lit­ter­ing. ‘Also they have been hav­ing to col­lect and sweep up more lit­ter than in a long time.’

Dog dirt on Pri­ory Lane.

Cllr An­thony Con­nick.

Abra­ham Dunne.

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