Pet owners branded ‘selfish and lazy’ by beach cleaners

PEOPLE who leave their doggy bags behind after walking their pets on the beach have been described as selfish and lazy.

The criticism comes following a beach clean up in Ballycastle which yielded more litter than those involved had imagined.

The exercise took place on Saturday, March 30, when a group of forty likeminded individuals gathered to give Ballycastle beach a make over and show that community spirit is alive and well.

The event was organised by Conall o hArtghaile, a local surfer and Surfers Against Sewage supporter.

After speaking to representatives from Surfers Against Sewage and TidyNI, he contacted Moyle District Council and organised bin bags and gloves for any volunteers, and with the help of Ballycastle Community Development Group the event was promoted.

Over 50 bags of rubbish were collected in the three hours, and almost 30 full bin bags of glass bottles and empty beer cans were collected by the group in one area.

The other major surprise was the amount of doggy bags that had been left behind. Unfortunately a number of beach users are not cleaning up after their dogs, or are going to the effort of bagging up the dog mess, but just throwing it into the grass or burying it in the sand.

“Bins are situated at either end of the beach, so the people that are doing this are being selfish and lazy”, said one of the volunteers. “

Paul Johnston, a representative from TidyNI who volunteered on the day, and brought much-needed extra bin bags said: “Great effort today by everyone, it was brilliant to see so many volunteers setting a great example to all the visitors.”

Councillor Donal Cunningham who took part in the beach clean added “This was a first class effort by a great bunch of community spirited individuals; they did a great job in cleaning Conall o hArtghaile continued: “I would like to thank all the volunteers, young and old, who came out to support the event. I would also like to thank Jen from Surfers Against Sewage, Conor and Paul from the Ballycastle Community Development Group and Paul from TidyNI for their help and advice. And of course a special thanks to Councillor Donal Cunningham for coming out and getting his hands dirty rest of us.”