A few weeks ago a huge mattress was dumped on a pretty back street in North Cork. It stays there when you approach a bridge over the motorway, some of which protrudes to the edge. It’s a modern mattress for a double bed, so it’s big and heavy, especially now that the rain has saturated it.
If you want to remove it now, you need a van or a truck.
That is one of the compelling points about this incident. Someone drove out in a vehicle. They stopped on the side of the road and removed the mattress to leave it there.
It remains a thorn in the side for the many hikers and cyclists from the area who use this road for their exercises during the closure.
The presumption must be that the mattress will eventually be taken away for proper disposal by the county council.
In other words, the taxpayer will pay for it.
However, that’s not the only price paid for this type of antisocial behavior.
The trenches along this road have been used continuously for illegal dumping. The local farmers initially took away some of the black bags, but eventually it became impossible to clear out the garbage.
Even the casual hiker can now see dozens of coffee cups and plastic bottles that have just been thrown there.
The plastic does not rot. It will continue to pollute our landscape for generations and, as we know, harmful particles will find their way into our watercourses.
A mattress next to a quaint street in North Cork.
Unfortunately, this stretch of road is not the only one that is affected. The ones the dumpers opt for are usually the ones with few houses, which reduces the chances of being spotted.
Some of the most beautiful parts of our landscape are being ruined by people who don’t care about the consequences.
They don’t care about the land or the people who live here. They don’t care about our environment, tourism or work.
They can afford a good bed or plenty of takeaway coffee or use of a van, but they don’t pay to get their trash disposed of or even bother taking it to the correct disposal sites.
They deserve to be caught, named and shamed, punished, or even imprisoned.
It was good to see Gardaí posted on social media this week to urge people to keep common spaces clean and little free.
This came after watching a large amount of rubbish collected by a local family in the Glenabo Woods area of Fermoy over the weekend. The gardaí praised the family but said they could have enjoyed the amenities without the trash. The family had spent Sunday picking up other people’s trash.
“Since we are all looking for more places that we can visit within 5 km of home, we urge people to act responsibly and to keep the common areas clean for visitors and residents,” says the Garda Post .
They also urged anyone observing suspicious criminal or antisocial behavior to report it to the Gardaí environmental service or the Cork County Council.