THE community in Ballineen and Enniskeane is calling on the County Council not to demolish what it sees as the area’s ‘essential’ public toilets.
Kieran O’Driscoll, chairman of Ballineen & Enniskeane Development Association, (Beda) said that as the toilets are located on an established walking route and adjacent to a busy Bus Éireann stop, it is now more important than ever to re-open and renovate the facility.
‘We raised the issue of the upgrading and re-opening the public toilet facilities in Ballineen at a meeting of Cork County Council held in Dunmanway in July,’ Mr O’Driscoll said.
‘We are constantly being lobbied by the local residents to make every effort to re-open the public toilets. Since it was announced over two-and-a-half years ago that these toilets were to close, local councillors have been urged on several occasions to support the retention and refurbishment of these facilities.’
The community has organised a petition to retain the public toilets, which they say are more essential now than ever, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The loos were originally built in conjunction with another public facility in Timoleague in the 1970s. But the public toilets in Timoleague have recently been renovated and refurbished.
‘The Timoleague public toilets are of the same model and vintage as those in Ballineen, both having been built in the 1970s,’ Mr O’Driscoll said.
‘The BEDA organisation is requesting that the Ballineen toilet facilities be renovated in a similar fashion. It would be a backward step to lose such a vital facility when there should be a mindset for enhancing existing facilities and providing extra services,’ he said.
‘The locals are frustrated at the level of closures of businesses and services in the twin villages of Ballineen and Enniskeane in the past decade. We have had enough.’
A decision by Cork County Council as to the future of the public toilets in Ballineen/ Enniskeane is expected to be announced at the next full Council meeting.
‘We are asking our community to continue their support for the retention of the public toilets.
‘We will continue to lobby our councillors and the Council to ensure that this vital facility is reopened,’ Mr O’Driscoll concluded.