Killarney has been declared the cleanest town in Ireland in the latest survey by Irish Business Against Litter.

Most areas of the country were deemed to be tidy, however Dublin had its worst result in years.

The league table of 53 areas across the country showed two-thirds of towns and cities were found to have levels of tidiness in line with European norms.

Among them were the cities of Galway, Waterford and - for the first time - Cork.

IBAL has warned that the rise in vacant and derelict properties is contributing to increased litter and unsightliness in certain areas.

Responding to the results, Dublin City Council said it was 'astonished at the level of misrepresentation' within the report and at the 'misleading headlines this has given rise to in the media'.

It said there appeared to be a trend in the IBAL reporting that Dublin is given a periodic bad report so as to achieve such headlines.

'We have consistently outlined our reservations to IBAL about their methodology.

'For example each IBAL report is a snapshot and to claim a place is the cleanest or most littered on this basis is absurd.'

Dublin City Council said there is no weighting given to footfall levels and site selection, adding that the area selection is arbitrary.

'The cleaning regime in the city despite financial constraints has been maintained at a consistent level over the years and indeed improved in many areas.

'The report published today does not reflect the overall level of cleanliness in Dublin City', it added.

2011 table