COMMUNITY workers in Athy who meet five mornings a week to collect rubbish say they have been told to stop as Kildare Co Council has no funds to collect the waste.
A group of 16 workers on the TÚS community work placement scheme said that despite working for free they’ve been told to stop as funding isn’t in place for the collection of the bags of rubbish.
Between November 2016 and November 2017 they collected 1,361 bags of rubbbish around Athy town.
“We have been told that it is not within the budget to collect the refuse,” said supervisor Camillus O’Meara.
“There are 16 guys here in Athy and they have been going out five mornings a week to collect rubbish. We pick up rubbish around the old graveyard and along the river banks generally but now we’ve been told to stop.”
The TÚS initiative is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people that benefit the community.
“Some of the guys on the scheme have had a complicated life. The routine of manual work, getting up in the mornings and talking to other people helps. They have kept the town spotless. It’s important, by getting them out it teaches them self respect and discipline,” he said.
The team has continued to meet every morning at Purcell’s pub but for the past couple of weeks they’ve been unable to continue with the work and have gone back home.
“We have been told to stop, period,” he added.
“I don’t want people to think that the lads have gone lazy.”
When contacted Kildare Co Council said they had no comment to make.