CORK County Council is planning to upgrade some public toilet facilities in West Cork in an effort to bring them up to a certain standard.
The new loos in the village of Baltimore were cited as an example of well-run and very well maintained toilets by a West Cork councillor.
This follows a recent meeting of the Municipal District of West Cork in Clonakilty, where councillors agreed that complaints from tourists about public toilets facilities were one of the biggest threats that could hinder tourism in the region.
The members agreed that available funds will be used this year to refurbish toilet facilities in Castletownbere, Schull and Dunmanway.
Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) said that public toilets and playgrounds are the first and last impression that people get of an area and that it hadn’t been a pretty one in some cases.
‘We should have these up to scratch,’ said Cllr Hurley.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) also welcomed the proposal to upgrade public toilet facilities.
‘Bantry is a big tourist town with increasing numbers of tourists visiting the town and the public toilets are next to the tourist office there and I am pleading with you to look at an upgrade of these toilets as they are in a very bad state,’ said Cllr Hegarty.
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) also welcomed the move and said people were highlighting the state of some toilets, including the Bantry toilets.
He asked if some remedial works could be done in the interim.
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) questioned the costs of superloos and said that ‘we have to have basic things right for tourists coming to West Cork’.
Cllr Noel O’Donovan (FG) said he fully supported the move and said toilets must be up to standard and asked if there were any plans for the upgrade of the toilet facilities at Inchydoney.
Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF) said West Cork is tourist destination and there is a lack of facilities in some of the major towns and coastal areas. He also said he got complaints about the standard of toilet facilities at Red Strand, Inchydoney and Tragumna.
‘When Clonakilty was nominated for the Top Ten Tourist Town Awards, one of the comments from the judges was that there is a lack of facilities in the town,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
Cllr O’Sullivan highlighted the harbour building and toilet facilities in Baltimore as a ‘template and model’ for other facilities and he said they were well designed and easily maintained.
‘The harbour building in Baltimore is a model as the toilets are well designed and easily maintained.
However, Council official, Mac Dara O’hIci said the Council could spend the entire budget getting other facilities up to the grade of Baltimore but it wasn’t an option for the Council.
Councillors were also told that seven inhabited islands off West Cork have no public toilet facilities.
Cllr Mary Hegarty said the islands shouldn’t be forgotten about as ‘it’s all part of promoting the Wild Atlantic Way.’