When some people (who've probably never been here) think of Ireland, they have this image in their heads of rolling green hills, pristine lakes, and suchlike. Not to say that image isn't accurate--only that it isn't complete. Take for instance this lovely shopping cart o' refuse Brendan snapped with his camera-phone. This is the kind of stuff you find sludged over on the bottom of the canal here in Galway (though the swans often distract you from noticing it). At least it's tidy...?
Seriously though, I had a special section in my Moon guide on environmental issues, and I got fairly disgusted over the course of my research. When you're here on vacation it's easy to forget that even the most beautiful places on Earth have their landfills and tainted drinking water (tainted with what, you don't need to know).