Sir, – My wife and I walked the Bray promenade, during which we availed of the toilet facilities provided by Bray Council. So impressed were we by the two toilet blocks provided on either side of the prom, we did a count of the various units: 30 assorted cubicles, 15 wash-hand basins and three electronic hand dryers. The condition and presentation of all were exemplary.
And now Dún Laoghaire. Close to the start of the pier, there once was a small ladies and gents facility that was closed up years ago, and remains so. At the very far end of the pier and after a half-mile walk, there is one movable cubicle in what looks like the old harbour master’s quarters. This is often closed and is subject to the attending ice-cream vendor’s hours. Since there is only one toilet, the high demand can result in the facility being uninviting.
Halfway down the pier, there is the very elegant Edwardian bandstand, with its lovely glass covered seating area for perhaps 200. It was recently restored at considerable expense. It is not clear what programmes are envisaged, but music lovers would need to be nimble of foot, bring a bottle, and it would be advisable to always exclude Wagner from the programme. I understand the harbour company, and not the council, is responsible for the pier. Whichever it is, it should be ashamed of this situation.
Less than 100 yards away, we have the new €30 million Dun Laoghaire library. Maybe their toilets could be made available. About 200 yards away, we have Dún Laoghaire railway station, one of the busiest in the country. And guess what, it also has closed its toilets. When pressed on this, the reason given had something to do with drug addicts, and the advice was to use the toilets in one of the many coffee shops around. I doubt that the shopowners would approve of this liberty.
It is one thing not to build sufficient toilets for the public; it is quite another to close existing ones. – Yours, etc,
Foxrock, Dublin 18.