Chidren's health at risk over dog fouling in park

Safety: Families angry at shortage of bins

Geraldine Gittens

DOG excrement is littering south Dublin's lush parks -- because the council won't install special disposal bins, a councillor has claimed.

Residents near Shanganagh Park, Shankill, Co Dublin are furious that dog fouling is rampant at the park's entrances, as owners leave the dog waste behind.

Cllr Denis O'Callaghan told the Herald that Shanganagh residents are raising serious health and safety concerns for children and other park users, but the council refuses to put bins in place.

"The local authority should provide sealed bins for dog dirt, and they haven't put them into their parks. It's the solution to the problem. I can't understand why they're so reluctant to install the bins," he said

"It's a health and safety issue, it's unhygienic and it's not nice to walk into what's a nice park and see them there."

Dog owners who do not clean up after their dog are liable for fines of €150.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council no longer provides pooper scoopers to the public, and a spokesperson added that 'nappy sacks' are available from many shops for a very low price and are ideal for cleaning up after your dog.

"Residents associations can also request that the warden erect signs in your area detailing the fines and warning against dog fouling," a spokesperson said.

Mr O'Callaghan said: "There seems to be a reluctance now to put in poo bins. There are ordinary bins in Shanganagh Park, but you see the special poo bins on the seafront in Bray all along the promenade.

"Shanganagh Park is one of its largest parks, there's over 90 acres in the park, and it's very heavily used by people walking their dogs. Those dog owners put it in little plastic bags and leave it there."

The council spokesperson insisted that there is an onus on all dog owners to take full responsibility for their animals for the health and safety of the wider community.

"While the council does provide closed bins for use on some of our beaches, we do not provide closed bins specifically for the disposal of dog fouling on roads or footpaths," she said.