Armagh city centre’s stained streets are to be given a deep clean in the coming days.
The work comes after one local business owner contacted Armagh I to brand the streets, seats and bins a “disgraceful eyesore”.
Carmel Jameson – who owns Boardwalk Shoes and Handbags at Scotch Street – sent us pictures of the condition of the pavements outside her shop.
And a street and bin at the side of the store were also covered in mess and stains.
“This is what customers and visitors to Armagh are greeted with – an unhygienic and disgusting state,” fumed Carmel.
When we shared the story on social media there were numerous complaints from other business owners and residents of Armagh who shared the concerns.
One said: “The Shambles pavements are absolutely disgusting. Town is so dirty looking. They were the worst thing ever put down. Dirty looking and in wet or frost you would break your leg.”
And another person added: “The town is horrible to walk through. They should never put granite pavements in.”
Now, however, it has been confirmed that a deep cleansing of the streets in Armagh is being planned.
SDLP councillor Thomas O’Hanlon welcomed the confirmation, and admitted that the streets in the city centre are “grubby, dirty, unsightly and in need of a real good clean”.
He said the area around the Shambles is “particularly bad” and “hardly the sight you want to greet the bus loads of tourists who make their way between the two St Patrick’s Cathedrals”.
“The paths are grubby and to be honest it’s embarrassing,” he added.
The deep clean will now take place over the coming weeks and is due to be completed before the end of July.
“This is welcome but needs to be programmed in on a more regular basis,” said Mr O’Hanlon.
“Council and central government have invested a lot in recent years to improve the city centre. Business owners are constantly improving their premises and whilst a lot of work goes into keeping the city centre litter free, more needs to be done to keep the footpaths clean.
“I hope these works will make a vast improvement very quickly for those who live, work and visit our city centre.”