€3.80 to spend a penny in County Limerick public toilet

The public toilet at the Market Yard in Newcastle West. Photo: Google Maps

IT’S costing Limerick City and County Council €3.80 for people to spend a penny at the public toilet at Market Yard in Newcastle West.

That’s according to Fine Gael councillor Tom Ruddle, who had a motion before this month’s Newcastle West area meeting calling on the Council  to consider building its own toilet, or buying the toilet at Market Yard.

He pointed out that it costs the local authority over €38,000 per year to rent the facility, with a meagre return of just €2,600 annually.

“Over 700 people a week use the public toilet. 10,000 people use it per year but we are only making a revenue of €2,600 from it. This breaks down to a cost of €3.80 to spend a penny. Is there any chance the Council could look at taking it on themselves?” he asked.

“More people would use proper facilities if we had them.”

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Independent councillor Jerome Scanlan supported the proposal and described it as “most timely”.

“This was an issue raised by the community council, only last week.

“I would like to commend the units at Gortboy, but they are very quiet, could we not move them to the Demesne?” he asked.

Fine Gael councillor Liam Galvin described the figures as “mind-blowing”.

“Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have the toilets under our own management rather than a private contractor?

“This is just not sustainable and decisions need to be made,” Cllr Galvin insisted.

Senior Staff Officer at Newcastle West Municipal District, Martin Curran responded.

“Limerick City and County Council currently have a contract in place with the provider of the public convenience in Newcastle West for the provision and maintenance of the facility. I have opened dialogue with the providers and hope to be able to report back at the next monthly meeting with an update,” he explained.