Labour Councillor Nuala Nolan has called on Galway City Council to provide more public toilets, following “shocking” scenes during race week.
According to Cllr Nolan, visitors to the city were taken aback to see men and women openly urinating on the streets. She added that she was told by an American tourist that this behaviour would not be acceptable in the States.
“Sadly St Patrick's Avenue has now more or less become an open urinal from 8pm onwards on a nightly basis,” she said. “On the Thursday night of race week young men were seen urinating into the flower boxes at Browne's Doorway when it was still bright.
“Gardai were thin on the ground in relation to the crowds that were present in Eyre Square, they had bigger problems dealing with people drinking openly there.”
She said that it is clear that the public toilets in Eyre Square are rarely used, due to myths about the doors opening unexpectedly.
“All sorts of stories true or false have done the rounds with regard to these particular toilets, at this stage even curious European visitors shy away from them,” she said. “They have been a waste of taxpayers’ money.”
The councillor called on Galway City Council to provide extra toilets in the city, and to provide portaloos during festival season.
“Portaloos strategically placed might go in some way to solve this major problem,” she said. “It worked during the Volvo Ocean Race so there is no reason why it could not work during festivals like the Galway Races. This problem has to be tackled as urinating in public is a criminal offence apart from the fact that it will put most tourists off paying a return visit to our lovely city.”