IT’S a caring parent who carries a slide to a local beauty spot and places it on the river’s edge to give the kids a fun waterslide on a hot day.
erry Heaslip just wishes whoever created the mini splashworld showed the same consideration to the environment.
“They left it behind lying in the river, along with plenty of other rubbish,” he says.
Gerry, a member of the Dublin Trout Anglers Association, along with fellow angler, Cathal McDonnell, discovered the scene in West Wicklow when they went out for an evening’s fishing.
The area, near Manor Kilbride, is popular with walkers and daytrippers and it’s not the first time local anglers and farmers have been left cleaning up after them.
“It’s usually small stuff – cans, bottles, food stuff, lots of food packaging and the thing that drives me mad, disposable barbecues,” he says.
“But when we saw the red slide sticking out of the riverbed, it just makes you wonder what people are thinking.
“They went to the bother of bringing it there – you’d think they might make the effort to bring it home again.”
The pair weren’t equipped to collect much rubbish on their fishing trip so they went back a few days later and hauled out everything they could find.
“When you start pulling out the obvious stuff, you find more. There’s glass buried in the bottom and in the sand at the river’s edge.
“It looks awful but it’s not just that. The river has some lovely little deep pools – perfect for swimming – but you can’t see what’s at the bottom there until you put your feet on it. I’d be scared for kids going in there.”
Gerry says he spoke to local landowners who said they often did spot clean-ups.
“That makes it worse – the fact that people are cleaning up but there’s always a fresh supply of rubbish.
“I have a selfish reason in wanting the place kept right because I want it to remain a good fishing spot but there’s a bigger issue.
“If people are going to picnic in any part of our beautiful country, they should leave nothing behind them.
“It’s harmful to farm animals and the wildlife in those areas and also to other people. Please bring your litter home is the message I would give.”
The Irish Independent and Independent.ie will be highlighting the scourge of littering in natural beauty spots and popular visitor areas over the summer months.
Out and about in Ireland this summer and spot litter in some of our most beautiful areas? Send us your photos and video to [email protected]