No plans to provide outdoor toilets despite ‘outdoors’ summer theme by government

By Maurice Garvey

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has said ‘outdoors’ will be the theme for the summer – a theme best enjoyed as long as you don’t have to go to the bathroom.

There is a dearth of public toilets available in South Dublin County, with the only council operated toilet facilities at Corkagh and Tymon parks.

Tymon Toilet 1

The toilets in Tymon Park at the Wellington Lane entrance

Very few premises that are open, will allow customers to use toilets due to strict Covid guidelines and fear of an insurance claim.

The easing of restrictions and improving weather has led to more and more people taking the Taoiseach’s advice, with gardai noticing a marked increase in outdoor gatherings since St Patrick’s Day.

Some pubs are doing a takeaway service, but generally customers are not allowed to use their toilets and have to drink their pint 100m away from the premises.

This has led to issues where people are relieving themselves in neighbouring hedges and roads, amid potential fines for offending premises.

Under Covid, gardai have the power to close a bar and bring it to court if they fail to heed warnings, a harsh prospect facing a business effectively closed for over 400 days.

This week Padraig Cribben, CE of the Vinters Federation of Ireland, said pubs should be allowed to set up for outdoors, and then at a later date, for indoors.

Last year, Cllr Eoin Ó Broin (Ind) sought agreement for South Dublin County Council to install self-cleaning outdoor toilets on the high streets of the seven electoral areas in the county – citing self-cleaning facilities in Paris as an example.

The local authority said they have no plans to provide outdoor toilets on main streets, beyond current arrangements at Tymon and Corkagh.

However, an amendment suggested by Cllr Liona O’Toole (Ind), has led to a feasibility study on costing to install self-cleaning outdoor public toilets on the high streets of each of the seven local electoral areas.

Cllr Liona O’Toole (Ind) said: “We have been given a figure of €50k for temporary toilets and €300k for permanent toilets. The council say this is not budgeted for, but that is not acceptable. We budget for emergency, there is money there.

“They are telling everyone to get out, go for a walk, it is good for mental health and wellbeing, stay active, but by the way, don’t attempt to use the toilets for an hour and a half, or however long you are out for.

“This affects everyone, including young kids, pregnant ladies, people with kidney conditions and other medical conditions. This is not a cost issue. Supervalu in Lucan has a toilet that they employ someone to clean.

“I think insurance plays a part in it. Even in the council’s response, they cite the parks, but if you have 100 people in the queue at the park, you need temporary toilets.”

Cost, maintenance and potential vandalism are factors why authorities may be reluctant to install temporary facilities, but even if the feasibility study is successful, Cllr O’Toole can’t see any instant relief for the public.

“The feasibility study is in progress. Then it has to go to a SPC, full council meeting, and be approved at Budget 2022, then we have to build them, so we are a long, long way away,” she said.

Meanwhile, Brian McDermott, Director of event management company Fuel, has called on the events sector to coincide with the re-opening of the hospitality industry, to provide safe facilities outdoors.

“Without the events sector re-opening in line with hospitality, there is no regulation,” he told Pat Kenny Newstalk on Wednesday morning.

“I don’t think the government thought of this (toilets) when they called for a summer outdoors.

“Any type of toilets require a round the clock job and monitoring. We have the infrastructure, expertise, 40k people out of work in the industry, and are well equipped in the events sector to reopen with hospitality.”

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Tallaght University Hospital opens new Oncology Day Unit
Next 46 vacant houses in Tallaght Central area
  • Think Shop Support Local
  • DSPCA - Ducklings
  • An American Fire engine received a warm welcome after its long journey from New York to Dublin
  • Taylor Dowling - Winter Blues
  • Txt 2 Connect - South Dublin County Partnership

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.