Louth County Council have reiterated once again they will not consider offering local businesses reduced commercial rates in return to opening up their toilet facilities for use by the public.
The issue was raised during Thursday evening’s Ardee Municipal District monthly meeting after cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue asked why there was no progress made in the provision of new toilet facilities at Ardee Library. The discussion soon moved onto exchanges over the closed public toilets in Dunleer.
Independent councillor Hugh Conlon once again raised his objections to the continued closure of the public conveniences and when Pearse McGeough interjected to say, “If budget is an issue, we should be imaginative,” referring to a previous motion tabled by former Sinn Fein councillor Anne Campbell in 2018 regarding rates reductions for any businesses who made their toilet facilities available to non-customers.
Responding, Director of Services Joe McGuinness repeated the local authorities stance on the matter once again, “We will not be giving a rates reduction for people who provide toilet facilities.”
Speaking about the lack of public toilets in Dunleer, Conlon railed against the decision to lock up the conveniences on Upper Main Street, next to the Bank of Ireland. He hit out after McGuinness said there were no plans to reopen the toilets.
“I don’t think there’s a commitment to reopen those toilets,” McGuinness said.
“Tell that to the bus loads of people who come in every Saturday looking for a toilet,” Conlon replied. “They have to go into the pubs. I’ve met bus loads from the USA and all they want is a toilet, plain and simple. It is remiss of us not to make a provision. The toilets are there. The system is there. I’m reliably told the works needed are not that expensive.
“The toilets are there. It is a sin not to have them open. I’m not exaggerating. People are coming off the motorway for that purpose alone.”
“This is a historic issue,” McGuinness said. “We’ll certainly take it back and look at it.”