A CALL to retain the county’s public loos was made by councilors at a recent meeting.
Members of the West Cork Municipal District meeting in Skibbereen recently were told that it will cost almost €60,000 to upgrade the public toilets in Ballineen.
The loos in Ballineen are earmarked to be closed as senior executive officer Mac Dara Ó h-Icí, explained that an extra €10,000 per annum would be needed to maintain the facilities.
However, councillors were not pleased with the proposed closure of the public toilets, not only in Ballineen, but indeed anywhere in West Cork.
‘We should flush any ideas by the local authority to close public toilets in any of our communities,’ county mayor Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) said. ‘These facilities are necessary and need to be available, it is not reasonable to expect local businesses to make their toilets available to those that need them.’
Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) agreed that many pubs, cafés and restaurants are having problems with the numbers of people using their toilets.
‘The public toilets are very necessary,’ Cllr Carroll said. ‘A number of business owners have contacted me in connection with people using their facilities, especially when there is a market or some other event going on in the towns. We must keep those public toilets that we have open and indeed look at ways of providing facilities for towns during busy times of the year.’
Cllr Pat Murphy (FF) suggested that perhaps local community organisations could be contracted to maintain the public toilets in their areas.
The public toilets are a very important and necessary facility for a town, Cllr Murphy said. ‘Perhaps the Council could contract help and assistance from a community group such as the Tidy Towns committee?’ he posed. ‘With a community group taking these facilities under their care this would ensure that the public toilets are used and maintained.’