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Sasko Lazarov
outdoor summer

Dublin City Council to install more bins and toilets across the capital

150 toilets and over 100 extra bins are to be installed across the city this Bank Holiday weekend.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is to install toilets, bins across the city from this weekend, along with staff to maintain them, following criticism of a lack of facilities in the capital to allow people to socialise outdoors.

Dublin Lord Mayor Hazel Chu and DCC councillors have been told today that 150 ‘portable’ toilets, 54 large Eurobins and 80 Barrel Bins are to be installed across the city from this June Bank Holiday weekend.

This is in addition to the 3,310 bins and 28 public toilets that are already in the city.

Staff will also be put  in place to manage the waste collection and maintain the use of the toilets, the update from the Council said, which includes “cleaning and queue management”.

The facilities would be focused in the capital’s busiest thoroughfares, and the additional toilets will be open from 10am to 11pm daily.

Here is the list of areas where toilets would be made available:

The north side

  • Wolfetone Square (additional provision)
  • Central median on O’Connell Street
  • Smithfield (South end)
  • Royal Canal
  • Mountjoy Square
  • Diamond Park.

The south side

  • Sycamore Street
  • Temple Bar Square
  • Chatham Row
  • Sth King Street
  • Coppinger Row
  • Dame Court
  • Dame Lane
  • Merrion Square.

It comes after the Council was severely criticised after its director of city recovery Coilín O’Reilly said that if they put more bins and toilets at areas where people were gathering, it would only encourage more people to gather in the city.

If we supply more toilets and bins, does that bring more people in? Do we end up with bigger public health issues? It’s a very difficult situation to manage.

When asked whether areas such as St Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square should be open later to take pressure off other areas in the city, O’Reilly said:

“I think the primary problem is it’s a public health issue from a mass gathering perspective. So, putting everybody into St Stephen’s Green or Merrion Square doesn’t solve the public health issue.”

Earlier today, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said some councils need to “up their game” in preparing for an outdoor summer and providing spaces for people to meet.

He said that as outdoor dining reopens next week, there will be more places for people to meet.

“I think our councils really need to up their game in this regard, and we’ve seen some very good examples,” he said.

“I’ve seen, for example, in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, they seem to have actually done a very good job of preparing, some clearly haven’t.

“I do think we’re going to be at a different situation when the reopening of outdoor dining and outdoor pubs and bars starts from Monday,” he added. 

The minister said ”rather than finger wagging, I think we have to look at how do we actually better prepare”.

Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan’s tweet over the weekend hit out at scenes in the city centre over the weekend. He doubled down on his comments yesterday evening despite criticisms levelled at him over the last number of days.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said this week that funding has been made available to local councils to create safe outdoor spaces for people, with the Taoiseach agreeing that the message is for people to socialise outdoors this week. 

Today, Ministers Peter Burke and Darragh O’Brien announced a new €4m investment to help local authorities provide more outdoor bins and toilet facilities.

The funding will be used to keep outdoor spaces clean, and to provide additional public toilets in the city centres and across the country at other locations such as beaches.

Burke said local authorities are also providing more bins in key areas and are increasing the frequency of emptying with support from central funding.

He said the Government has been very clear that this summer will be strongly focused on outdoor spaces and activities.

“I would urge people to take personal responsibility too – it goes without saying that individual behaviour and personal responsibility are crucial in helping us all to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors this summer,” he added.

O’Brien said local authorities have a lead role on the management of our public spaces and they are working incredibly hard to deal with the challenges of this summer’s outdoor focus in a responsive and balanced way.

“Across the country they continue to provide for additional public spaces to facilitate outdoor dining, with the costs associated with outdoor dining licenses now waived for the year.

“Other measures being taken range from the provision of additional parklets outside premises to the pedestrianisation of streets.

“Our Local Authorities are also in regular contact with local businesses, An Garda Síochána and other local stakeholders to provide every support possible for a safe outdoor summer that we can all enjoy,” he added.

With reporting by Christina Finn

Dublin City Council has been contacted for comment.

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