Trim"s public toilets, which were closed by the town council earlier this month, are to remain closed after councillors agreed at their budget meeting that they would not be reopened.
Budget considerations led the town council to close the toilets and it was agreed at last week"s annual budget meeting that the toilets would remain closed.
The public toilets had been open seven days a week from 8am to 5pm. Now members or the public are being directed to use the toilet facilities at the adjacent tourist office/café in the town hall on Castle Street. These toilets are open from 9.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday.
Cllr Ray Butler told the budget meeting that a lot of people had made representations to him who were not happy the toilets were closed and asked councillors what their opinion was.
Cllr Danny O"Brien said: 'If I felt it was going to be a loss to the town, I would be against it, but I don"t think it is. There are toilets in close proximity but we do need a sign to say where there are public toilets available.'
Cllr Gerry Reilly agreed and said they are already funding the tourist office and suggested it may increase business at the office. If people are going in to use the toilets, they might spend money. 'We can try it for a year. Next year, if people around the table feel we need to open the toilets again, let them do it,' he said.
Cllr Trevor Golden said they were not 'knocking the toilets and were only closing them'. He said one nearby trader told him they had not seen an increase in the numbers using their toilet and added that they could revisit the situation in a year or two.
'I believe just as a hotel is judged on its toilets, so is a town. I"m glad I didn"t have to use the toilets there, the way they were kept,' said Cllr Phil Cantwell. He added that if they wanted to open the toilets again, they should give them to somebody as a business and people could 'pay €1 and the toilets would be cleaned and there would be a proper toilet'.
He added: 'I don"t see why they should be kept. It is a bad image on the town and all the vandalism that was going on as well.'
Cllr Vincent McHugh said: 'They were only being vandalised and costing money. The last job was the fire. It was turning out to be no-man"s land and there were very few using it.'
Cllr Butler questioned how many toilets there are in the tourist office and whether there is are separate ladies" and gents" toilets. Cllr Golden said that, as far as he was aware, there was only one toilet but said he would be in the café quite a bit and never saw a queue for it.
Cllr Reilly commented that, having been in restaurants in America that seat 120 people and only have one toilet, 'American tourists would not be giving out, anyway'.
Cllr Golden said he could see where Cllr Butler was coming from and that it was something they had in the town for many years, but said there had been vandalism, fires lit and antisocial behaviour recently there. 'All we are doing, in the current climate, is making the decision to close the toilets but we can revisit it,' said Cllr Golden.
It was agreed that a multilingual sign would be erected at Castle Street stating where toilet facilities are now available.