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29/07/2021

Young people in Maynooth using bushes as a toilet as council opposes public conveniences

Cost

Young people in Maynooth using bushes as a toilet as council opposes  public conveniences

Maynooth

The provision of temporary toilet blocks, which are connected to the public mains and sewers, cost up to €300,000 each annually as well as an installation cost of €70,000.

The cost  is among the reasons why Kildare County council is resisting  calls for additional temporary public toilets at outdoor gathering points around the county.

Cllr Peter Hamilton said at a KCC meeting money is available for it and it has been done in other areas such as Sligo town and Strandhill, County Sligo.

Read more County Kildare news

He said he spoke to some young people in Maynooth who said they use the bushes as a toilet and this a health hazard.

He said the toilets in public buildings could be made available but these buildings are not open at night.

Cllr Bill Clear said there is a need for facilities in Naas as well and said people with a disability are avoiding public places because there is a shortage of accessible toilets.

However KCC director of services Celina Barrett said that councillors had decided to get rid of public toilets and said that the money available for providing facilities is quite small and is shared between many local authorities.

Ms Barrett said the money pays for festival-type toilets which business people object to once they are located close to their enterprises. Ms Barrett also said the requirement for these will drop off as the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

She further said despite the fact that public buildings are being made available, they tend not to be used.

She also said that 250 portaloos were provided in Dublin prior to the opening of outdoor dining.

These were regularly used in the week prior to the return of outdoor dining but after that the numbers reduced significantly “to the point where 170 portaloos were immediately removed.”

Once indoor hospitality returns she expects that the remaining units will no longer be required.

Ms Barrett also said that people are reluctant to use portaloos because of Covid -19 - if they are not cleaned regularly and do not have appropriate hand washing facilities.

She said the provision of toilets in public buildings would provide a solution “as demand continues to decrease.”

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