"Every pavement, every park, is covered with dog excrement in various states of decomposition. It’s not acceptable and the council needs to act.” This is the view of the Green Party's Pauline O'Reilly.
Ms O'Reilly, who is the Green's Galway City West candidate, is calling on the Galway City Council to take action on what she calls "a dog fouling problem" which is "ruining" places like the Salthill Promenade.
"Every parent in Galway city has had the experience of a trip to the Prom or a park ruined when their child steps in dog poo," she said, "but dog poo is not only unpleasant, it can pose a serious health risk.”
Dog excrement can carry toxocariasis, a parasite which can cause blindness and organ damage in infected humans, with young children are at particular risk.
Ms O'Reilly praised a group of mothers in Manor Park, Knocknacarra, who go out on a daily basis and clean up the dog poo from the green space. However she said it should not be up to such individuals to do this and that responsibility lies with pet owners and local government.
"Cleaning up after our pets is just as important as feeding them. It’s part of being a responsible pet owner," she said. "Most of us do the right thing and clean up after our dogs, but for those who don’t, Galway City Council needs to take action.”
While bylaws against dog fouling exist, Ms O'Reilly said they were not being enforced, alleging that in 2017, City Hall issued only two fines for this offence.