Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD has welcomed the support from An Tánaiste for additional facilities to be put in place to allow for an enjoyable summer outdoors.
She pointed out that while the support was welcome, funding needed to be provided to deliver the necessary bin and toilet facilities.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The public health message is that we will have a great deal of our summer outdoors.
“However, despite having over a year to prepare and perfect how we will deliver such an outdoor summer, there has been little movement on providing the basic facilities necessary.
“Instead of supporting and developing public spaces so they can be enjoyed by everyone, many local authorities have sat on their hands, while others have taken extreme measures such as cordoning off public spaces.
“Let me be clear, there is no place for anti-social behaviour in public spaces, it should not be tolerated, and it should be dealt with by properly resourcing the Gardaí to do so.
“However, the public need, and deserve, decent outdoor facilities, which at a minimum include public bins and public toilets.
“There seems to be a prevailing opinion amongst our local authorities at managerial level, and by some in government, that Irish people do not deserve nice things – that is an unacceptable position.
“Irish people deserve to have the necessary facilities in our towns and cities to allow them to spend quality and enjoyable time in our public spaces.
“Nearly every other European country provides these basic facilities in their towns and cities, it is to the great shame of our local authorities and our government that we do not have such facilities, but even more so, that they have not been provided after nearly a year of living with Covid.
“I welcome the Tánaiste’s commitment to me that the government will instruct local authorities to provide more public bins and more toilets so people can enjoy an outdoor summer, but this must be accompanied by funding so we can be sure these facilities will be delivered.”