Kilkenny has once again topped the litter league table
A new litter survey has revealed nearly all of Ireland's main towns are now clean.
But the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) group found pockets of our major cities continue to suffer from significant levels of litter.
The study showed only two of 25 towns surveyed to be littered, but seven of the eight bottom places in the rankings to be occupied by city areas.
IBAL says councils need to concentrate on those specific areas where the problem is worst.
Among the littered city areas were Farranree in Cork, which was again a litter blackspot, and Galvone in Limerick City which was seriously littered.
Mahon in Cork was littered, while Galway City and the area of Ballybane were deemed 'moderately littered'.
By contrast, over 90% of the 25 towns inspected by An Taisce were found to be clean - with almost half judged to be cleaner than European norms.
Kilkenny once again topped the table, ahead of Enniscorthy, Kildare and Waterford City.
The previously littered towns of Athlone, Portlaoise and Ennis all improved to clean to European norms, while Maynooth shot up 19 places in the rankings in its best ever showing.
And Dublin city centre also returned its best ever result - with Temple Bar, Grafton Street, O'Connell Street and Christchurch among the areas to receive top marks.
"Dublin City Council has done a fine job in presenting the capital at its best in what was an important summer for tourism," says IBAL’s Conor Horgan.
"This job was complemented by the roads around Dublin Airport being exceptionally clean. At the same time Ballymun and north inner-city were littered, so we're not near to solving the capital’s litter problem yet."
Ballymun was let down by the prevalence of cigarette butts, broken glass and dumping in several sites surveyed.
IBAL says its inclusion of more city areas in its rankings is a recognition of the fact that litter is now largely restricted to neglected pockets of our cities.
"These survey findings bear out our contention that while our city centres are generally well maintained, disadvantaged areas continue to be the source of much of the litter in our country," Mr Horgan adds.