AN advocate for older people in Cork has raised concerns about the lack of public toilets in the city centre.
Paddy O’Brien said it was “absolutely deplorable” and that “nobody in this modern age should have to remain at home due to a lack of toilets”.
Mr O’Brien was contacted recently by people who said they would no longer go into the city centre due to the lack of toilet facilities.
“These same people have been confined to their own homes over the last 14 months. They have suffered and experienced woeful anxiety during this confinement,” he said.
Mr O’Brien said that those who contacted him been refused by some local businesses to use their toilet facilities, despite having made purchases from them.
“These businesses willingly accept the money for their purchase, but refuse them blankly to use the toilet,” he said.
Speaking from personal experience, he said that, regrettably, some garages were also refusing to allow paying customers to use their toilets.
He added that many elderly were on medication and required the use of toilet facilities more frequently than others and could not queue at the few places in the city where there were toilets.
“I would call on the establishments who are refusing customers to use their toilets to think of the problems they are creating for those who are supporting their business.
“Not for a moment am I suggesting that members of the public should walk in off the street and use the toilet. I think it’s important that you must have purchased from the business,” Mr O’Brien said.
He called on Cork City Council to provide public toilets throughout the city.
“Nobody in this modern age should have to remain at home due to a lack of toilets,” he said.
The council recently said there was “no one single solution to the provision of public toilet facilities” in the city.
A draft public toilet policy is being compiled by council officials with a view to increasing the number of facilities available.
In a recent statement to The Echo, the council said it was “actively undertaking a review of options with regards to the provision of public toilet facilities in the city” and that this review included a review of “both units located throughout the city centre and at popular amenity areas”.