Following reports of illegal dumping in the Cellarstown area of Kilkenny, The Kilkenny Observer travelled out to view the situation. It was not a pretty sight.
The area around the environs of Cellarstown was, in the past, the first choice of many city dwellers when deciding on a stroll through the country-side.
The many attractions the area boasted became most obvious throughout the amble.
It commenced with the landmark that was Hebron House. Landscaped with many tree varieties, most notably tall imposing oaks that adorned the surrounding.
Hedges seemed to be maintained on a daily basis, they looked symmetrical during every season. Amongst its denizens, the house was once home to the Helsham, Murphy and Mansfield families and was built soon after 1750.
Passing or visiting the area at any time, one couldn’t help but notice the five-bay structure reflecting on the nearby tributary to the river Nore.
Enjoyment of the country air was immediate as the roaming progressed outward from the city. The wind whispering through the summer barley and the ripe lush meadows could inspire those of a poetic tendency to compose a line or two.
Further along the peaceful road, approximately one mile from Nowlan Park, another beauty spot was arrived at, in the form of a boreen. A wide open expanse set in off the roadway with direct access at one time to its parallel sister, the Johnswell Road. In former years the lane was a busy thoroughfare and is credited with a rich history. It was a picturesque right-of-way up the 1960s. It is known to possess at least three names. Hannah Keeffe’s Bosheen, the Mile Bush and Paul Lanigan’s Lane.
Not to labour too much on the vistas and riches of nature in Cellarstown, but this unspoilt beauty continued to the foothills of Clara and beyond.
But that was then.
In recent years all has changed and the changes occur with regularity.
An ugly blot is now most evident at almost every curve and bend in the road.
Like many other areas and byroads of Kilkenny, the once aesthetically pleasing rural countryside has fallen victim to the rubbish dumper.
On our visit to Cellarstown, we met three different residents who pointed out the rubbish being left in the area. One lady, who asked not to be identified, said she was gobsmacked that people would deliberately dump rubbish around other people’s homes. “I am sick to my stomach,” she said.
RUBBISH DUMPED EVERY WEEK
Almost every week the local community witness at least one black rubbish bag dumped on some part of their road.
“People seem to think dumping their household waste wherever they wish is some sort of victory”, said another resident.
The attitude would appear to be:-‘the car boot is empty, I win again and the beauty is, it cost me nothing’.
How convenient the laneway dedicated to Hanna Keeffe and others was, to the person on a recent fly tipping expedition, who parked at the open expanse, relieved their vehicle of seventeen black refuse sacks of domestic rubbish.
The pile included paint cans, a child’s bicycle, at least three dozen alcohol bottles and a vacuum cleaner.
All are part of the illegal collection dumped without a single thought or care for the environment.
How convenient also, to bring a car to a stand-still and deposit bags of cat litter on the roadside at regular intervals.
The utter disregard by some visiting individuals, has brought the once beautiful area to shame and disgrace.
To describe the sorrow and annoyance felt by local residents is difficult, suffice to state that exasperation at the regularity of the dumping, has finally set in.
Alas Cellarstown cannot be included or be part of any prize-giving awards for tidiness, as tidy town’s judges would be shocked and horrified should their remit extend outside Kilkenny city.