EXISTING LEISURE facilities could soon be enhanced to provide low-cost toilet facilities across Co Clare.

Under the Community Support Scheme, groups across Clare can avail of funding from the County Council to enhance public areas and amenities. Including a clause to enable the addition of low cost toilet facilities at existing facilities will now be considered. It follows a proposal from Cllr PJ Kelly (FF) before the January meeting of the local authority.

Planning permission is likely to be required if community groups wish to add toilets to their facilities, Director of Service, Leonard Cleary outlined.

“We have been informed on a number of occasions that there are over fifty villages in Clare without wastewater, there are a number of them that do have the wastewater but don’t have public toilets,” Cllr Kelly stated.

Clare has previously led the way when it came to rural development and has a chance to set another positive example, the Lissycasey representative believed. He calculated that the cost would be between €5,000 to €6,000 for the installation of the facilities. “The public toilets in Lissycasey are used by passers-by and people in the village, they could be in every village, there are villages with buildings left derelict that could be adapted”.

Strong support for the proposal came from Cllr Cillian Murphy, “use what you have where you have it before you go introducing new things”. The tourism consultant said he recently finished working with Munster Vale tourism group and one of the biggest raised from them was the need for new facilitates to enable access to mountains and open spaces. Existing infrastructure in communities such as car parking, showering and toilet facilities belonging to sporting organisations could also come into the reckoning, the Kilkee representative commented.

Recollections of a similar proposal tabled “many years ago” regarding to do with a private commercial trial came to the mind of Cllr Pat McMahon (FF). He noted the continued growth in Clare, “there are five million plus people living here so it’s a problem that won’t go away”.

Location of sporting grounds may hinder their potential use, Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) cautioned. “Since 1984, every GAA club now has its own field, car park and public toilets, they now have modern gyms, those grounds in a lot of cases are not in the town centre or the village centre, they are adjacent to the village, very often the facilities are not as you drive by the town on the main road”.

Keating backed the overall sentiment of the motion, “Cllr Kelly is very urban in Lissycasey and it is a good place to have the facilities with the restaurants but this is something for rural development to look at”.

Concluding the debate, Cllr Kelly quipped, “it makes me think of moments when we weren’t using toilets. One local authority official came up with a proposal to construct a urinal in the town, a certain councillor was called aside and had information put in his ear, he was told he needed an arsenal put beside it”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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