Councillors complain about lack of public toilets in Cork city centre

Councillors complain about lack of public toilets in Cork city centre

The public toilets on Grand Parade have been closed for some time. A draft public toilet policy is currently being compiled by officials at Cork City Council following calls to increase the number of facilities in the city. Picture: Larry Cummins

A draft public toilet policy is currently being compiled by officials at Cork City Council following calls to increase the number of facilities in the city.

At last night’s full council meeting, several councillors expressed concern both at the lack of public toilets in the city centre as well as at various amenities in the city.

Independent councillor Lorna Bogue had a motion before council calling for the local authority to investigate the matter, which she said has come to the fore during Covid-19 with pubs, restaurant and retail outlets closed under current restrictions.

Similar motions submitted by Sinn Féin councillor Fiona Kerins and Independent councillor Paudie Dineen called for mobile toilet facilities to be put in place at popular locations across the city such as at The Lough and at the Marina.

“It’s something we really need to look at because we do have a city centre which is basically vacant of any public toilets apart from the English Market,” Mr Dineen said.

Fianna Fáil councillor Terry Shannon said although he was in favour of developing public toilets across the city, such facilities previously attracted anti-social behaviour and any future toilets installed would have to be “manned properly”.

“Not just in terms of the city centre but in outlying areas like the various amenity parks we do need to have public facilities for people.

“Whether they’re elderly or whether they’re children or anyone in general if you’re caught short, you’re going to be in trouble,” he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Henry Cremin also spoke in favour of developing public toilets.

"What I don’t want to see us doing is just because 2% of the population in any given area might vandalise something, I don’t think that the other 98% should be punished also," he said. 

Council official David Joyce said that a draft public toilet policy is being drawn up and will be brought before the Environment, Water and Amenity Strategic Policy Committee for consideration.

Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill asked that the council would explore putting in temporary toilets at "high volume areas" in the city for the summer months while the draft policy is being compiled. 

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