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Calls for Eircom to remove phone boxes being used by drug users and damaging nearby businesses

Eircom says some of the phones are being used by people to contact homeless services.
Jun 2nd 2015, 6:05 AM 15,839 36

PHONE BOXES AROUND Dublin city centre are a ‘huge attraction for anti-social behaviour’ and are causing problems for nearby businesses.

That’s according to Sinn Féin Councillor Noeleen Reilly who is calling on Eircom to remove any defunct telephone boxes.

“A number of Eircom phone boxes are no longer in use around the city. They are a huge attraction for anti-social elements.

“One particular one comes to mind on Liffey Street beside Arnotts, which is regularly used by drug users.

This does obviously not encourage people to use any of the businesses beside them as people congregate around them.

Eircom said it is “very aware of the problem of anti-social behaviour and vandalism of payphones”.

Addressing the situation on Liffey Street, a spokesperson for the telecommunications company said, “I can confirm that there is currently one double pedestal in position but there were three before Christmas”.

The spokesperson added that Eircom is currently in discussion with Dublin City Council regarding such payphones but that many of them are used for free-call access to social service, including homeless services, so this needs to be considered.

Last month there were on average 24 calls per payphone in Dublin 1 and 2.

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However, it did add that where there is “an absence of reasonable need” the payphone may be removed.

There are currently 133 payphones situated in 55 kiosks and 16 pedestals in Dublin 1 and 2.

Eircom says nine double kiosks are scheduled for recovery which will leave 46 kiosks/115 payphones.

At the start of 2006 there were 846 payphones in Dublin county, there are now 353.

Read: Homeless charity forced to shut down its Sunday free meals service>

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Cliodhna Russell

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