Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Dublin, John Lahart TD has said litter fines are no longer acting as the deterrent for that they were once designed to be as a means of keeping our communities clean.

Over the past five years, close to 7,500 litter fines have been issued by Dublin City Council but just 40% of these have been paid. So far this year only 158 of the 451 fines issued across Dublin have been collected.

Deputy Lahart commented, “Leaving these fines uncollected is an exceptionally weak message to be sending to the public – there is little point in issuing fines for litter if authorities are not stringently following up on their payment.

“There are big issues in Dublin with fly tipping and the improper disposal of general household waste. These fines are clearly not acting as the deterrent that they were once aimed to be.

“Our urban environment is one of Dublin’s greatest assets and tourism is the backbone of our local economy. There is no excuse for any of us to engage in littering of any kind and we all need to be more conscious of the impact litter has on our city.

“In order to clamp down on illegal dumping, fly tipping, littering and even the industrial scale dumping that are tarnishing our landscape there must be accountability. That must start with stricter enforcement of Local Authority litter bye-laws and following up with those who have already received a fine.

“There are a number of volunteer led initiatives across the city that warrant our co-operation and full support all year round. It’s just not fair to all their efforts that we would leave off those who have received a fine for littering our streets.

“The perception is that people issued with a litter fine won’t be chased to cough up the payment but the fact is there’s no difference between a parking fine and a litter fine. Both are an offence and that must be our firm message,” he concluded.