Not a single fine was issued to a dog owner last year on foot of a dog fouling detection.
The revelation was made at the March meeting of Mullingar Town Council, but it came as no surprise to Cllr Ken Glynn, who tabled a question.
The written reply stated that a total of 84 litter fines were issued in 2013, but did not offer a response to Cllr Glynn’s query about the amount of revenue which the council gained following these fines.
Cllr Ken Glynn said dog fouling is a blight on the town and a torment to residents and the Tidy Towns committee.
He did not accept the council’s explanation that it is difficult to catch dog owners, and he was not happy with the response that if a dog owner does not give their name to the community warden, there is no way to proceed with a prosecution or fine without Garda assistance.
He said it is time to examine local bylaws to see what can be done, and he called for extra patrols, especially in the evening time when people walk their dogs.
He said that if the council can’t provide more bins, it must have litter wardens around in the evenings when people are walking their dogswhich are fouling the street.
Residents and Tidy Towns members are frustrated, he said, describing dog fouling as a blight on Mullingar.
Town manager Declan Leonard said Mullingar is not the only local authority battling with dog fouling, and the powerlessness of community wardens.
The issue is to be raised with the environment SPC to consider possible ways forward.