It costs taxpayers €16.50 each time a person uses a public toilet in Cork

The public toilet in Carrigaline. Pic: Howard Crowdy

By David Linnane

It costs Cork County Council up to €16.50 for every person who “spends a penny” in a public toilet in Carrigaline.

According to figures given to County Mayor, Seamus McGrath, the council took in just €450 from the public toilet at the Owenabue car park, despite the cost of building and maintaining it coming in at between €20,000 and €30,000 a year.

At 25 cent a use, that means it was used around 1,800 times last year, less than five times a day.

Mr McGrath suggested that the council would move it to the playground in the Co. Cork town, where it would be of more use to people, and would recoup more of the costs.

“It’s not getting a great deal of use where it is, and we should be trying to have toilets located closer to playgrounds,” he said.

Mr McGrath said that the council is open to the idea of moving it to a new location, and will investigate the possibility of doing so, but said that it would cost in the region of €10,000 to do it.

However, the mayor said that it would be money well spent.

“We can spend €250,000 over the next 10 years and leave it where it is or move it. Let’s bite the bullet and front up the relocation costs so that it’s in a place where people will use it,” he said.

Previously, figures have shown that superloos in other parts of the county cost €12 per use for the council.

The local authority had revealed the high costs of running the automated public toilets, amid appeals for more facilities to be put in place.

This article first appeared in today's Evening Echo.

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