Ireland’s hidden public toilets


Sir, – What is it with the Irish and public toilets? On a recent visit to your beautiful country, the one major issue I continually encountered while cycling about was the lack of public toilet facilities. For example, while visiting one of the “signature points” on the Wild Atlantic Way, the stunning Downpatrick Head located in north Mayo, I expected the minimum facility one would expect at such an idyllic location was a toilet block. The nearest public toilets to this location was a 30km cycle, and then to find one of these toilets in the town of Ballina was a mission in itself as there are no signs whatsoever indicating where these toilets might be hidden.

While in Ireland it was of interest to note that Fáilte Ireland are in the process of marketing the inner regions of Ireland. It is calling it “Ireland’s Hidden Heartland”. Surely they won’t endeavour to make finding the public toilets there even harder than it does on the Wild Atlantic Way?

Might I conclude by suggesting that in the event that the local authorities cannot afford to build or maintain public toilets, would it not be an idea to try and coax the numerous hospitality venues in the country to allow their toilets to become de facto public toilets? If this were to happen then Ireland could become the most toilet-friendly nation in the developed world, where tourist would be able to spend more of their “pennies” with delight. – Yours etc,