This weekend, towns and village throughout Inishowen gathered to do their bit to help tidy up their area as the Annual Clean Up took place. And despite continuous heavy rain, the clean-up was a success.
With litter pickers gathered in all the main towns and villages, organisers throughout the peninsula were delighted with the effort made by locals.
Martin Robbins, from Carndonagh Tidy Towns Association, said their group got on “brilliantly” on Saturday morning.
“There was a very good turnout and we were very pleased with the effort put in by people. We got the Planting area done, on the Glentogher Road, which is always very littered, we did out the Moville Road towards Gleneely, and the people there came out and met us and then we did the town.”
Mr. Robbins explained how the town area is “well improved” on what it was a number of years ago, but that the Tidy Towns are continuing the work on an ongoing basis.
“We have regular clean-ups in the area, and we’re starting to meet now every Tuesday night to collect litter. We also have a rota where we take it in turns to do Saturday and Sunday mornings. We’ll do this up until October as the weekends during the summer often bring more litter as you’d imagine.”
Buncrana Tidy Towns member and local Fianna Fail councillor, Rena Donaghey, also praised the effort from residents in her area.
“Considering the weather conditions on Saturday morning it was a good success, although the rain did put a dampener on things. It rained all night on Friday and there were many areas flooded so it was difficult but I want to thank everyone who donned their wet gear and came out.”
Colr. Donaghey urged people to stop throwing litter and especially in the Watery Road area from Burnfoot to Inch, where, she said, there is a lot of “indiscriminate dumping”.
The Buncrana woman called on people to keep up the effort and said she would if Inishowen could be branded “Ireland’s tidiest peninsula”.
Burt volunteer Kathleen Grant admitted their clean-up was also “slow to start because of the weather” but that it didn’t stop them tidying up their area. Ms Grant also called on Donegal County Council to “up their fines” as she maintained a lot of the places they cleaned were quickly covered in litter again.
Burnfoot man and local Fine Gael councillor John Ryan congratulated everyone who took part in the second annual clean-up throughout Inishowen by “rolling up their sleeves” and “getting on with the job”.
“I am especially happy with my own area, and the Burt volunteers did themselves proud as always. I also want to pay tribute to the Buncrana Tidy Towns Association who performed way beyond expectations - with the help of local residents they clean from the North Pole (bar) to the Halfway House in Tooban. That is absolutely astonishing and I cannot thank them enough.”
Colr Ryan said the only area his group missed was a small portion from Burnfoot to the Halfway House and this was only because they had no time.
He added: “I am calling on people to join us once more next Saturday morning [28th April] to get that last piece finished.”
The Burnfoot man says the only negative point is that littering is still continuing and that it “beggar’s belief” that people continue to do it.
Moville Labour Councillor Martin Farren and volunteers from his area, helped collect litter in the Moville and Greencastle areas on Saturday morning.
Colr Farren says he wants to “congratulate the volunteers throughout Inishowen for coming out.”
He said they all did an excellent job: “We have a beautiful peninsula,” said the Moville man. “And we want to keep it that way. I want to thank every single volunteer who came out on Saturday and made an effort to do their bit to keep our towns looking clean and tidy. It is very much appreciated.”