Calls for volunteers to join tidy towns clean-up crew ahead of Fleadh Cheoil

“We want to raise awareness about the work we do and hopefully get a few more volunteers."

Áine Kenny


Áine Kenny



Calls for volunteers to join tidy towns clean-up crew ahead of Fleadh Cheoil

The week-long spring clean in Dundalk takes place from Monday April 23rd to Saturday 28th

Helen Byrne, the chairperson of Dundalk Tidy Towns, says that the week-long spring clean from Monday April 23rd to Saturday 28th is being organised to kickstart the clean-up effort for summer.

“We want to get ready for the Tidy Town judges and also for the Fleadh Cheoil, tourists will be visiting or staying in Dundalk for this and we want them to enjoy their time here,” Helen explains.

“We want people to come to Dundalk and say it was lovely and clean and that they would definitely come back. The people here are already friendly, we have lovely hotels and B&Bs, we just need to ensure the place is looking good.”

Helen says that a week-long litter pick was decided on because Dundalk Tidy Towns want to be visible. “We want to raise awareness about the work we do and hopefully get a few more volunteers,” she laughs.

“We have a few volunteers trickling through on the Facebook now, all are going to pick litter at different time slots. One company, Prometric, is helping on the Monday morning with 5-8 volunteers, but we’re always looking for more.

“The Dundalk people are very friendly and helpful towards us,” Helen continues. “When you look at the great work the Residents Associations do with keeping their estates spotless … we just need to encourage people to come outside their own little areas to help with the clean-up.”

There might be an attitude among some people, sh feels, that there will always be someone else to clean up after them, or someone else who is willing volunteer.

“We just want to encourage people to come out and support their local community,” she says, adding that the key to eradicate litter is to educate children from an early age. “Louth County Council have gotten involved, so have the schools with their Green Flags,” she says. “A lot of schools organise litter patrols and teach kids about recycling. Even my own children, they are teenagers now, but they still put their rubbish in their pocket and take it home. It’s a habit.”

Helen would love to see more bins around the town. “Obviously that is a finance issue, with the Council saying they have no money for the cost of collecting these bins. There is also the problem of people putting their domestic waste into these public bins. But it is annoying when you see people throw litter on the ground.”

The recent spate of dumping around Louth also worries her: “It is an issue that affects all areas … people might pay someone to take away their rubbish but then it is just being dumped at the side of the motorway.

“I even saw a mattress on the M1 recently, and rubbish near the Ballymac roundabout. People need to realise that it isn’t too much effort to go to the recycling centre and pay to have waste dealt with properly — it is only €4.”

“Maybe with more policing and CCTV cameras we could stop the dumping and littering, but as of yet there has been no solution, and it is costing a fortune to clean up. So if anyone has any ideas, please let us know,” Helen concludes.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit Dundalk Tidy Town’s Facebook page or email the committee at hb100@icloud.ie