IFA Deputy President and Countryside spokesman Eddie Downey has criticised local authorities for their inaction and failure to seriously tackle the scourge of littering in the rural areas, by passing motorists and users of the countryside.
He commented, "The awards given out to clean towns and cities around the country are part of the Irish Business Against Litter campaign.
"However welcome this initiative might be, it disguises the fact that fly-tipping and dumping along roadside verges, particularly on the outskirts of towns and villages and along main roads have become a serious blight on the countryside.
"The Department of the Environment, Local Authorities and the EPA have failed abysmally to identify littering culprits, and to show they are serious about tackling the problem.
"Ireland has an immense natural heritage and environment which attracts 6.6million tourists to the country every year. The problem must be addressed immediately to control the significant impact that littering is having on the countryside," he concluded.