The village of Kilcoole in County Wicklow, the setting for the RTÉ rural drama 'Glenroe', is blighted with litter.

Kilcoole in County Wicklow is one of the most scenic spots in Ireland. It doubles as the fictional village of Glenroe in the rural soap ‘Glenroe’ broadcast on RTÉ Television. However what the viewers do not see are fields full of junk and plastic.

Caroline Tindal runs guest accommodation in Kilcoole in and is almost embarrassed by the amount of litter and plastic in the village.

Glenroe on TV looks quite clean and tidy, Glenroe in reality is very, very messy.

Her guests cannot understand why Irish people live surrounded by litter.

They can’t understand why we won’t go out and do our own little bit, to keep our own little area clean and then if everybody did a little bit, the whole wouldn’t be so bad.

This sentiment is echoed by Minister for the Environment Noel Dempsey who is considering placing a tax on plastic bags, a major cause of litter not only in Kilcoole, but countrywide.

Speaking on behalf of the Plastics Association, Reg McCabe of the employer’s body IBEC does not believe a plastic bag levy will solve the litter problem.

Really it’s an antisocial behaviour and you need to amend people’s behaviour, that’s probably the most productive way to go about it.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 March 2000. The reporter is Carole Coleman.