Canal drinking ‘cannot continue,’ and as a can consumer, I’m livid

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Like many of my fellow Dublin dwellers, over the weekend, I took myself, my pals and a box of Orchard Thieves down to the canal in Portobello.

The sun had uprooted the city from it's usual Sunday routine, and with 23 degree heat blazing down, laughter, guitar music and the cracking open of cans was the soundtrack of the afternoon. 

However, unlike some of my fellow revellers, I disposed of my crisp packets, empty cans and cigarette butts in the extra bins provided. 

As someone who considers themselves a 'responsible' day drinker, the thought of leaving my trash behind me or dumping it in the canal is disgusting.

After all, how can the community and those who descend upon it in the good weather truly enjoy themselves if they're surrounded by what looks like a scene from Mike Judge's Idiocracy

The state the canal is left in is constantly an issue after sunny days, with Twitter and the likes of Lovin' Dublin scolding day drinkers with images of overflowing bins and plastic-littered canal water, but after years of the same conversation, the powers that be have declared that it has come to the point that it 'cannot continue. '

'It does require a much more co-ordinated effort on the part of the gardai and to recognise that it is an issue that actually has to be dealt with," Cllr Mary Freehill, who likes in the area, told The Irish Times. 

“There’s been drugs there as well, I’m afraid. What really concerns me about this is when you have a group of people consuming a lot of alcohol around very deep water, people may not realise that is an accident waiting to happen. It’s something we cannot allow to continue.”

This is just the epitome of a few people absolutely ruining things for everyone.

Yes, we all get hammered on occasion and there's absolutely nothing wrong with getting merry in the sunshine, but endangering yourself and trashing the area while you're at it simply isn't on. 

As my colleague pointed out in the office this morning, when we go on holidays to another city, and partake in their local beverages in the wild, we tidy up after ourselves, so why can't everyone have the same respect for our own city? 

Yes, I sound like a complete spoil sport, but leaving piles of rubbish strewn down the canal, public urination and generally obnoxious behaviour suddenly seems to become socially acceptable once the sun shines. 

Cllr Chris Andrews told The Irish Times that “whenever the sun shines it’s a problem” dealing with groups along the canal.

'There’s no overnight solution. We’re going to have to put a strategy in place to address it and redevelop it so there is infrastructure there for people who are social drinking and enjoying the scenery.' 

As much as the city council does need to do more to provide yet more bins, more surveillance and possibly portaloos, it's us, the revellers who need to check ourselves when enjoying the sun. 

Just take a shopping bag with you when you go day drinking, use it as your bin, and then take it home with you when you leave – don't apply that typical 'it'll be grand' attitude to your own rubbish disposal, because clearly it's not 'grand' when it's to the detriment of the people living in the area and the wildlife like swans, ducks, frogs and fish who are there 365 days of the year, not just when it suits them. 

If there's room in the bins, pop your trash in there – yes, it can be frustrating when you go to put your stuff in the bin and it's full. but that's where your take-home shopping bag comes in.

A bag of empty cans isn't the most glam thing to bring on the bus home but you could drop them off at a recycling bank on your way.

As for pissing in the street, can you just not?

'At one stage I could see 40 fellas pissing in the street at one time,' a resident told The Sun. 'People are walking by here holding their nose it is that bad.'

If a local pub allows toilet use for customers, buy a bottle of water, a drink or a snack and use the loo while you're there, at least you're contributing a small amount to a local business and keeping yourself hydrated while you're at it. 

The actual shame of peeing in a stranger's doorway and then them having to scrub it away the next day. Absolutely scarlet if you actually think that that's in any way acceptable. 

Cllr Chris Andrews admitted to The Irish Times that it's a hugely difficult thing to tackle, as when people get locked they lose the run of themselves. 

Local councillors are set to discuss these issues at their next meeting, so until then the fate of the cans and canal tradition hangs in the balance. 

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