Dubliners are being “punished” for trying to socialize outdoors with Dublin City Council facing criticism for the lack of facilities for a summer outdoors.
Labor Sen. Rebecca Moynihan made the remarks in the Seanad today, calling for more outdoor seating and public restrooms to be made available.
She said: “We have been told this year, and they should have told us at Christmas, that socializing outside is the right thing to do.
“But sadly our capital is not equipped for this and Dublin City Council appears to be slowing down compared to other local authorities, such as Dun Laoghaire, for example, when making provisions for a summer outdoors.
“Until recently, there were only six public toilets available in the city. They have opened some public buildings for toilets, but access to public containers is completely inadequate.”
The Dublin senator cited the situation in Portobello, where the town hall closed the square due to the large crowds that gathered there, and said that people were simply moving down the street.
“I think it’s really important that we have a proper strategy for a summer outdoors and also make it easier for local authorities and people to be able to socialize safely,” he said.
“To do that, we have to provide things like access to public toilets, garbage cans, security guards who clean if there is antisocial behavior, and also seats for people.
“We hear reports of where, even in areas that have been pedestrianized, there are people next to the trails inside the curbs because there are no adequate public seats for people.”
Senator Moynihan called for the capital to become a “world leader” where people can comfortably socialize outdoors.
She continued: “It has really highlighted the big difference between Dublin as a European capital and other cities you can go to where public facilities are available.
“It seems we want to punish people for wanting to socialize, but what we have to do is realize that people want to socialize, they want to be with their friends, and we have to provide people with safe facilities to do so.”