The Galway City Council is being called on to take action on dog fouling in the city.
At a recent meeting in City Hall Fine Gael councillor Pearce Flannery was scathing in his criticism of council’s commitment to dealing with dog waste in the public parks and on the streetscape, and gave examples of what he termed “the poo bag dispensers” being empty and abandoned for a number of years in Cappagh Park and other locations across the city.
Cllr Flannery said; “We cannot enforce the legislation unless we provide the dog owners with the facilities to deal with dog waste. This includes poo bags and more refuse bins in public areas and these refuse bins must be emptied on a daily basis.
“The issue of dog excrement in our public spaces has become a significant problem and can be a serious health hazard. Many of our public playing fields and parks have become effectively unusable and have become a health hazard to all users especially children playing sport. It is absolutely unacceptable that children involved in sport should have a playing field covered in dog faeces.
“As a parent myself with children involved in sport, and as a dog owner, I see first hand the state of our playing fields across the city. I also witness the activities of irresponsible dog owners on a daily basis. We must all play our part. This is not about dogs, this is about public health and the welfare of our citizens especially our children. At council level this appears not regarded as being a significant issue and this must change also. “We need to take action. Pitches and playing surfaces need to be protected from dog fouling. This requires investment and action taken on fencing in the playing surfaces, especially in Cappagh Park. Dog owners must address the issue of taking dog waste home and disposing of it and the council must provide the means to do so. The bags must be made available at the community and sports centres free of charge. Having them available at City Hall is not good enough.
“CCTV and enforcement officers should be operating from the community centres and repeat offenders must be dealt with. It is absolutely true to say that dog owners have a responsibility to remove dog waste and keep their dogs on a lead, but equally we as a council have a duty of care to the wider population. It is our responsibility too and we are not meeting our obligations in this regard.”