Budget-choking public jacks in Kerry town finally gets flushed

The public toilet on Market Street, Listowel, being removed from its long-standing perch last week.


EACH ‘penny’ spent in it was once costing the then Listowel Town Council €26.

It was a high price indeed for the sake of having a public toilet in the centre of Listowel.

But Listowel finally flushed its budget-choking jacks last week, some two years after the 20-year-long contract had run its course.

Though it was costing up to €40,000 per year, the facility was taking in – moneywise that is – a fraction of that; somewhere in the order of €1,000 per annum.

The ‘superloo’ as it was once billed regularly dominated budget discussions in the old town council, where members once heard it had been set to cost the authority up to €600,000 over the twenty years.

Based on the annual overhead of ten years ago that figure may have been closer to €750,000.

Some had favoured spending the €125,000 to get out of the contract just to be shut of it back in the day. That never happened, as the agreement with the providers ran its course.

Other councillors had pointed out that the authority had been duty-bound to have provided a public convenience at the time the superloo was secured and installed on Market Street.

“It was a huge financial drain, excuse the pun,” Councillor Jimmy Moloney (Fianna Fáil) – first elected to the council long after the jacks was installed – told The Kerryman.

“It was costing us €39,000 a year roughly ten years ago which was a lot of money for something that received minimal usage.”

Where to now for those in need?

“There is a temporary toilet at the old Neodata as part of the Greenway trailhead, with a permanent one to be positioned there in the future. As a heritage town we do have to have a public toilet, but I wouldn’t think the removal of this one will have much impact, on the public or on local establishments, given how little use it had been receiving all along,” he said.