A petition is calling on Dublin City Council to install public toilets in the city centre as restaurants and cafes remain closed.
Richard Hanlon, co-owner of Busyfeet & Coco Cafe on South William Street, is calling for "immediate action on this critical matter from Dublin City Council" ahead of Phase 2 of easing lockdown restrictions on June 8.
Hanlon explains, "Under the road map to reopen Ireland’s society and economy, we will move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 on June 8th.
"This will mean significantly increased movement of citizens and an influx to the city which will be a major event within Dublin. This also will be a key economic turning point for the Dublin city centre commerce, but due to ongoing restrictions, there will be no accessible toilet or handwashing facilities for the public to use till Phase 3 June 28th. When some hospitality and retailers could allow access to their loos.
"My concern is the lack of availability of public toilets in Dublin's city centre currently and into the future, with only 2 public toilets operational at Connelly & Hueston stations for a city of 650k people at this time. The current crisis has accentuated the urgent issue of the city’s poor hygiene infrastructure which will have an adverse effect on both public health and the survival of city centre commercial areas."
He adds, "The 20 days period between Phase 2 & 3 will be a pivotal time for businesses in the city, who badly need to reopen and help kickstart the economy. The “No Place to Go” feeling will be a negative consequence of having no temporary public toilets available from June 8th in Dublin city centre.
"Any further loss to future trade in the coming months in the city centre will be devastating economically, pushing most businesses to bankruptcy. The ‘Urinary leash’ will not only hold back all of us from venturing into the city centre but it will hold back the country."