19 May 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Environmentalist and local artist Martha Cashman has been working with Cork County Council on a mission to keep the streets of Youghal squeaky clean and dog poop free.
The East Cork Municipal District of Cork County Council has been providing free PoopScoop bags in the town for a number of years, but after recently returning to her hometown, Martha discovered that under current restrictions the incidents of dog fouling were on the increase again.
Martha, the founder of More Clay Less Plastic which aims to empower people to be Change Makers in their Communities, championed an idea that would make the free PoopScoop paper bags more readily available in Youghal town.
Returning to Youghal, to look after her mother while restrictions are in place, Martha noticed that dog fouling was beginning to become a big problem once again. Wanting to address it, she approached business owners in Youghal to ask them to participate in a Street Clean initiative. The businesses would make the free PoopScoop bags, supplied by Cork County Council, available on their premises for people to use when needed. All sixteen businesses approached agreed to come onboard and Martha has been delivering boxes of the PoopScoop paper bags, to premises in the town in recent weeks.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, has praised the efforts of all involved in the Street Clean campaign, saying “We have recently seen a concerning increase in fly-tipping, littering, the misuse of street bins and dog fouling across the county. Initiatives such as this demonstrate local pride and the success of communities collaborating with Cork County Council, which goes a long way towards combating these types of anti social behaviour.”
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Ian Doyle said, “Dog fouling is not only unsightly it can pose a serious health hazard. As a dog owner it is your responsibility to remove your pets’ waste from public places and dispose of it responsibly. In Youghal now, thanks to the Street Clean initiative, a PoopScoop paper bag can easily be picked up from many of the businesses in the town centre.”
Dog faeces, which can carry bacteria and parasites, also presents a health risk to people and other animals. Cork County Council’s Dog Warden Service is focused on tackling the problem says Don Kelly, Cork County Dog Warden, adding “I encourage dog owners, particularly during this unprecedented public health emergency, to keep their dogs on leads in public places as per the HSE guidelines and to pick up after their dog and dispose of it in a suitable manner in public bins or in your home bin. Dog Wardens are patrolling and monitoring public places and offenders could receive an on the spot fine of €150 for failing to comply with legislation. Please, when your dog has done its business, you need to do yours, bag it & bin it.”
Cork County Council’s Dog Control Service can be contacted by telephone on 021 428 5405, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, on-line at www.yourcouncil.ie or by post at Dog Control Service, Floor 2, County Hall, Cork, T12 R2NC.