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Councillors flushed with success over €200k plan to roll out public toilets

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Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe

Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe

Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe

People caught short in the city centre are to be helped by a new council pilot scheme that will reinstate public toilets.

The programme, which will include two new public toilets in the city centre, was allocated €200,000 at last night's Dublin City Council (DCC) budget meeting.

A toilet is expected to be installed on both the north and south sides of the city centre.

Closures

The closure of public toilets in the capital began in the 1990s, with loos at St Stephen's Green, College Green, Burgh Quay and O'Connell Street all closing over the years.

The pilot scheme is due to begin in the first half of 2019.

The pre-fabricated, modular toilets will be based on the superloo system used in Sandycove by Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council, where users are charged €0.50.

It is understood that the new loos will be coin-operated but it is unclear how much DCC will charge to access them.

Ciaran Cuffe, the Green Party councillor who campaigned for the new toilets, has welcomed the decision.

Mr Cuffe said the loos would provide a much needed amenity for the city centre.

He said the first toilet was due to be installed next year and hoped the scheme could be rolled out further if it proved to be a success.

Public toilets were becoming the norm in progressive cities and Dublin should follow suit, he added.

Dignity

"It will give a bit of dignity to homeless people in need of sanitary facilities in the city but also to anyone in need of a toilet at short notice," Mr Cuffe said.

Meanwhile, in another pilot scheme, sanitary products for women will be offered at a number of council-run centres.

The idea has been championed by Labour councillor Rebecca Moynihan.

About €20,000 will be spent on the project, which will initially provide products in four leisure centres - in Donore, Sheriff Street, Bluebell and Darndale - in the coming weeks.

Other centres are likely to follow in the new year if the scheme is a success.

After her motion was passed by DCC in September, Ms Moynihan said: "Period poverty is a very real problem issue for women in low income households."

She told the Herald last night that toilet roll and soap were provided in bathroom facilities everywhere and that the same should go for women's sanitary products.

"It should be provided in all bathrooms," Ms Moynihan said.


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