Two of Dublin’s local authorities are among 11 countrywide to have issued no fines for dog fouling last year, according to the National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI).
The charity warned dog fouling is among obstructions on pavements that can cause injuries for people who are blind or vision impaired.
According to figures obtained by the NCBI, Dublin City Council and Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Council both issued no fines for dog fouling during 2021. South Dublin County Council issued two, while Fingal County Council issued 15.
Galway City Council fined no one for dog fouling over the same period, while Galway County Council issued two penalties.
In contrast, Kerry County Council issued 31 dog fouling fines. That figure was up from none the previous year.
The NCBI said local authorities in Donegal, Laois, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow did not provide them with any figures.
Louth County Council issued nine, Cork City Council and Cork County Council seven between them and Limerick City and County Council four.
Under the Litter Pollution Act it is an offence for a person in charge of a dog to allow the dog foul public spaces without removing and disposing of it “in a sanitary manner”.
Local authorities can issue on-the-spot fines of €150 while cases which go to court can see a maximum fine of €4,000.
Launching the NCBI’s Clear our Paths campaign, June Tinsley, the charity’s head of communications, said it was aimed at informing people of the impact obstacles in shared spaces have on people who have sight loss.
“Everyday obstacles such as cars parked on footpaths, dog fouling, overhanging branches and wheelie bins can obstruct or injure someone who is blind or vision-impaired as they try to navigate past safely,” she said.
“We are encouraging people to be mindful of these obstacles and remove them to ensure our footpaths are safe and clean.”
The NCBI also cautions that increasing outdoor dining since the pandemic has caused concerns where street furniture is not adequately cordoned off or the new layout of recently pedestrianised streets is disorientating.