FILE PHOTO of Nolan's pub in Kildare town
A publican on Market Square in Kildare town said there’s an urgent need for public toilets and bigger bins.
Last year, Kildare County Council pedestrianised the car parking area to promote social distancing during the public health emergency around Covid-19 — and the initiative has been very successful.
There are regular groups of people enjoying takeaway drinks and snacks from the surrounding businesses including cafés, restaurants and pubs.
However proprietor of Nolan’s bar, Peter Gibbons has called for public toilets and large “barrel bins” for customers.
He told the Leader: “We need to provide facilities for people if we’re expecting them to congregate in the new pedestrian Market Square.
“The Square is a fantastic amenity in the town but it belongs to the people and they must be catered for.
“If you want punters to come into the town and the Square, the Council must provide toilets and large ‘barrel bins’ to dispose of rubbish.”
Like other businesses, Nolan’s has provided takeaway drinks before expanding to serving outdoor drinking tables when the restrictions were relaxed earlier this month.
Mr Gibbons added: “Many businesses in the town like other towns have been closed for months and they need to be supported to attract customers back again.”
The publican, who has been operating for 32 years in the Square, added that cars are currently driving onto the Square which is a safety hazard for drinkers and diners in the area.
A Council spokesperson said: "Following on from discussions at the April Plenary Council Meeting, the provision of public toilets in Kildare Town is with Management Team for consideration. It is Kildare County Council's intention to provide additional bins in the Market Square, Kildare Town."
Local councillor Suzanne Doyle also said a number of extra bins have been ordered for the Square.
She added that temporary toilets may be required for the short term and high-quality facilities should be considered for the future potential of the public realm.
The Fianna Fáil politician said there is huge community potential for the public space for events such as markets, antique fairs and outdoor cinema screenings.
She added: “We have a large local population within walking distance of the Square and we must promote activities which will attract families to stay in the town rather than going to Newbridge or elsewhere.”
Cllr Doyle also paid tribute to the bravery of local business owners in the town who had embraced the challenges of Covid-19 and adapted what they offer to the public.
She added: “We’re still very much in a trial period with Market Square and issues are being encountered and solutions are being put forward.
“It’s a unique amenity on our doorstep and it’s in everybody’s interests to manage and use it properly for the community.
“We’re a heritage town and that’s what helps to draw visitors so we must also be consistent with that theme.”
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