Galway traders call for public toilets

by Richard Hartmann

Galway City centre traders have called on the city council to urgently address the issue of the lack of public toilets ahead of the expected re-opening of retail next month.

David Greeley, chair of Galway Business Watch wrote to all of Galway’s city councillors this week as well as Brendan McGrath, CEO of Galway City Council.

“With retail looking to reopen toward the end of May we are faced with a lack of facilities.  In normal years we have relied on the goodwill of the pubs and restaurants, along with the shopping centres, to allow non-customers to use their toilets.”

“Unfortunately, our current situation leaves the pubs and restaurants unable to allow walk-ins, even when they eventually get to reopen, and the shopping centres are finding themselves unable to cope with the numbers and having to close their toilets,” he said.

There are currently only three public toilets in Galway city centre which are all located in Eyre Square. Mr Greeley said that other cities have much better facilities for shoppers and tourists.

“We have been looking at the model which we have seen Dublin City Council using, which is a prefab building painted and with flowers around so that it doesn’t look like an eyesore.”

“It contained three cubicles on the ladies’ side and a cubicle and two urinals on the gents side, each with running water and soap at the sink.  There is a staff member there to ensure that it isn’t being used for nefarious purposes and is kept pristine clean.  We would love to see this implemented in Galway,” he said.

Mayor Mike Cubbard said he has raised the issue with the CEO of Galway City Council a number of times, in particular with regard to the west end and the Claddagh.

“They came back to me last summer with a costing of circa €100,000 for the installation and upkeep of a toilet facility, however I believe there was some effort towards that in the budget for 2021,” he said.

Mr Greeley confirmed that he had received positive representations from eight councillors, but as yet he has received no response from the CEO, Mr McGrath.

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