BY JACKIE KEOGH
AN angry young mother has said it’s time to call a halt to dog fouling in the towns and tourist hot-spots of West Cork, and a local councillor has promised to raise the issue at Council level.
‘The streets are terrible – they are covered in dog pooh and it is especially obvious when it hasn’t rained for a couple of days because it just piles up,’ she said.
The mum-of-two has a particular gripe with the condition of the streets in Skibbereen: ‘The footpaths throughout Skibbereen are narrow and I find it difficult enough getting around with two young kids in tow without having to swerve around piles of pooh.
‘With the buggy it is even worse, because if you are trying to pass someone you might have no choice but to wheel through and then you are bringing this disgusting mess into your home.’
Local Cllr Joe Carroll (FF) said he has received complaints about the problem and that he would be raising the issue at the next Municipal District meeting.
Even after cleaning, the Skibbereen mum said she worries that the dog mess could harm her children. Infections, such as Toxocariasis – which is more common in kids whose families have dogs or cats – may affect the eyes of children, causing decreased vision and swelling. It can even damage the retina. The young mother also claimed that library staff in Skibbereen had to clean their floors recently because ‘someone walked it through’ the building.
She said it also annoys her that so many of West Cork’s beauty spots, such as Liss Ard and Lough Hyne, are marred by the prevalence of faeces on the greens and pathways.
‘It is a weird thing that it is accepted. I get it that people love their dogs, but what I don’t understand is why the owners do not use the plastic bags and special bins that have been provided to clean up after their pets.
‘If I park illegally I can expect to be fined, but people can let their dogs foul the streets and the laws are not enforced.
Skibbereen-based Cllr Joe Carroll said the traffic warden has the power to issue fines. ‘I will be putting down a motion calling on the Council to tackle this problem, because the existing penalty system is very difficult to administer. It seems the only way to enforce it is an on-the-spot fine.’