Grand Parade toilets to remain closed; City Hall isn't flush enough to cover the cost of reopening

Grand Parade toilets to remain closed; City Hall isn't flush enough to cover the cost of reopening
The public toilets on Grand Parade will remain closedPic; Larry Cummins

CITY Hall has no money in its budget to allow the public to ‘spend a penny’ on Grand Parade.

Council director of environmental services Valerie O’Sullivan has confirmed a lack of demand and funding means the public toilets on Grand Parade will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

The facilities had intermittently been out of service since their development in 2008 and had become a drug-use hotspot and a target for vandalism.

The Echo reported late last year that about 300 syringes had been found in the toilets over a three-year period and they had cost almost €100,000 to keep clean over that time.

The closure of the toilets was raised by Sinn Féin councillor Fiona Kerins who asked the council if alternative facilities were to be put in place to cater for citizens and tourists.

Ms O’Sullivan replied that the council could no longer stand over the facility and a significant amount of funding would be needed to re-open the toilets.

However, she added the matter will be reviewed.

“The public toilets at Grand Parade are at their end of life, arising from mechanical wear and tear since their opening in 2008, as well as several instances of vandalism and protracted periods of being out-of-order, which had been occurring more and more frequently,” said Ms O’Sullivan.

“The satisfactory sourcing of new parts has proven unsuccessful to date.

“Cork City Council is aware that the level and standard of service provided within the public toilets at the Grand Parade had begun to fall short of what Cork City Council, and members of the public, should expect from such a facility and hence, took the decision to close them.

“Full replacement of the facility has been considered, but would be extremely costly and is not currently provided for within the council’s budget. In addition, any investment in reopening the toilets must be based on the actual level of demand for such a facility from the general public.

“Considering that the toilets had been experiencing increase levels of anti-social behaviour in recent years, it is the council’s understanding that actual public demand for the facility had waned,” Ms O’Sullivan added.

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