An Taisce is horrified by Dublin City Council's so-called “plan” to withdraw the basic services of street cleaning and rubbish removal in Dublin's north city centre, including primary Georgian areas.

Speaking today, spokesman Charles Stanley-Smith said; "This idea is insane. This area has suffered from dumping due to a lack of enforcement - yet the council now propose to effectively withdraw services altogether. As numerous studies such as 'the broken window hypothesis' indicate, where a small problem is left un-tackled it is likely to become far worse rather than better.”

He continued “In other words, rather than increase enforcement to solve the problem, Dublin City Council is going to remove enforcement. How will this deal with the problem? Imagine if that logic were applied to crime; would the removal of police services in an area help resolve criminal behaviour - or increase it? The answer is obvious."

The council has stated that they will try to pursue suspected illegal dumpers at the end of a week. However there is nothing stopping them from doing that at present on a daily basis. So the question has to be why aren't they doing so already? In other words the announcement is an admission that they have been badly failing the area - and they are now intending to continue to do so to a much worse extent.

This morning's announcement is an insult to local law abiding people who have been paying for waste collection. They already have to put up with a substandard service of street cleaning. They are being tarred with the same brush as the lawbreakers. They are suffering both reputational damage, and being subjected to collective guilt - an aspect that appears to be legally questionable.

Although this is a key historic Georgian area, which includes Mountjoy Square and surrounding streets, it would seem that no local stakeholder was contacted about this plan. Neither has there been any consultation with An Taisce, the Mountjoy Square Society, or other interested parties.

An Taisce notes that over the last 4 years, the state has tried to close down the local Garda station on Fitzgibbon Street, cut off Dublin Bus services, and close the local swimming pool on Seán MacDermott Street. That an Architectural Conservation Area has been adopted at Mountjoy Square has come about despite Dublin City Council officials, rather than thanks to them.

An Taisce is aware that there have also been numerous calls by the local community to erect CCTV in the area, which obviously would both deter and catch persons engaged in illegal activity - yet no CCTV has been forthcoming. Therefore today's announcement is viewed by the local community as yet another attempt by discredited authorities to remove basic services to which everybody else has entitlement.

The so-called 'plan' is a lie as it is not a 'plan' in the real sense of the word, but an announcement of a withdrawal of basic services.

This announcement is also unacceptable because it is an advertisement to people from outside the area to come in and dump. It will set a disastrous precedent that may be copied in other areas and in other counties. As reported in today's media, the stated policy is to "allow the waste pile up". As far as An Taisce is aware, the only international precedent to allow waste "pile up" as a management strategy has been in Naples, where notoriously the Mafia have been associated with waste management.

Ultimately it seems obvious that if those charged with providing basic services are not able to do so in a competent manner. They should be released from such duties. The current situation is clearly not working and it is incumbent on someone within the council taking the responsibility to sort out the problem.

An Taisce fully supports the local community in their resolve to defeat the proposed measure, and will actively engage with other interested parties to ensure a successful - and sane - outcome.


For further information, please call:

Charles Stanley-Smith, An Taisce Communications – Tel: 087 2411995

Email: [email protected]

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland