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Fix Reek toilets or lose Murrisk charges - Flynn


HORRIFIED A visitor to Croagh Patrick highlighted the state of the public toilets on Croagh Patrick to The Mayo News back in January.

Anton McNulty

A WESTPORT councillor says he will call for a suspension of car parking charges in Murrisk if improvements are not made to the toilets on Croagh Patrick.
The poor state of the toilet facilities on the shoulder of Croagh Patrick were recently highlighted in The Mayo News after it was raised by a visitor to the holy mountain.
The matter was raised at yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Westport/Belmullet Municipal District, where Cllr Peter Flynn described the toilets at the Reek as ‘a disgrace’.
He highlighted the fact the €40,000 in car parking charges was collected each year from the Murrisk car park at the foot of Croagh Patrick and called for this money to be allocated towards new toilet facilities.
“Murrisk is the only car park in the county outside of the towns where there is car parking charges in operation. It pulls in over €40,000 a year and is more than self financing and we should be doing our bit for Murrisk and help these people out. I am going to be nice at the moment and ask for co-operation and that the works be advanced but if there is no progress this year I will come back next year and look to suspend car parking charges in Murrisk. It is not like there is nothing coming into Murrisk, and it is the least we can do in enhancing that facility,” he told the meeting.

Tourism attraction
Croagh Patrick is one of the most popular tourism attractions in Mayo with tens of thousands of people climbing it every year. Next month, thousands of people are set to climb Croagh Patrick as part of Charlie Bird’s ‘Climb with Charlie’ event to raise money for Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta, Ireland’s national suicide prevention charity.
There are toilets at the foot of the Reek and at the shoulder and Cllr Flynn said the toilets at the shoulder are in a terrible condition.
“It is a long journey to the top of the Reek and the least we can do is have proper toilet facilities along the way. We have the basic structure and it is the case of renovating the basic toilets we have there and putting in something more modern to meet the needs of pilgrims and tourists going up and down the Reek,” he said.
His proposal was supported by Independent councillor Christy Hyland who said that the toilets serving Croagh Patrick were well past their sell by date.
“There are other sites around our county with no charges at all and yet we have the worst toilets. For a national pilgrimage site, it is not good enough, they must be the worst toilets in the country,” he said.