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Council 'investigating avenues' to solve public toilet issue in Dublin as restrictions ease

A Council spokesperson said it is “acutely aware of this issue” and is “working to come up with a solution.”

Stephen's Green Park, Dublin
Stephen's Green Park, Dublin
Image: Shutterstock/Derick Hudson

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is investigating a number of options to provide the public with access to toilets in Dublin ahead of Phase 2 of easing Covid-19 restrictions next Monday.

With restrictions due to ease, many businesses including pubs and restaurants remain closed. As public interaction increases, Councillors have expressed an “urgent need” to provide facilities. 

“It’s something that we needed before…but obviously now there’s a greater sense of urgency,” Green Party Councillor Claire Byrne said. 

“We need to look at solutions. We need to look at reopening [toilets] in our parks and look at providing additional facilities,” she said. 

Toilet facilities in Council parks are currently closed. Byrne said there has also been calls recently for portaloos to be installed in parts of the city. 

“But actually what we really need is well-managed, serviced toilets in Dublin,” said Byrne. “Long-term that’s what we should look at but short-term we need a solution.”

In February, Dublin City Council said it was examining proposals to provide public toilets in Dublin city centre by contracting a third party to operate them. 

A “serviced retail-based model” – in place in other European cities – was being examined to see if a similar provision is viable in Dublin City.

Under this model, public toilets are located at shopfront level with serviced, attended facilities provided, they said.

In addition, the council is considering providing additional standalone structures in Dublin – similar to ones currently in place at Sandymount and Clontarf. 

“There’s no hotels, no cafés open at the moment,” Councillor Mannix Flynn said. “Most of the cafés you won’t be able to use anyway. The Council, without question, should be putting a programme in place.”

A Council spokesperson said it is “acutely aware of this issue” and is “working to come up with a solution.”

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“We have been working with An Garda Síochána and other stakeholders to develop an overall plan for reopening the City on 8 June,” they said. 

“We are investigating various avenues to solve the public toilet issue and are more than willing to have discussions with City Centre businesses and representative groups around the role they can play in working together with Dublin City Council to solve this issue.”

The Council confirmed, however, that its Parks Department has “no plans” to introduce public toilets at present. 

A spokesperson for the OPW said: ”There are currently no plans to install additional toilets in the Phoenix Park.

“Any decision to install additional toilets in other OPW parks would be a matter for park managers based on circumstances at individual locations bearing in mind health and safety considerations.”

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