‘DIRTY AND NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE’ The toilets on the shoulder of Croagh Patrick pictured one week out from Reek Sunday. Pic: Oisín McGovern
Calls made to fix ‘dirty’ Croagh Patrick toilets
CALLS have been made to upgrade the toilet facilities on the Croagh Patrick, with one visitor describing them as ‘not fit for purpose’.
With Reek Sunday due to take place this weekend for the first time since 2019, local representatives have called for ‘world-class’ facilities to be put in place at the mountain.
The annual event is expected to draw the largest numbers since the Climb With Charlie fundraiser was held there in April.
When The Mayo News visited mountain the weekend, the men’s toilets on the shoulder of the mountain were in working order, but contained a stench of urine and no hand soap was available.
The women’s toilets were in a cleaner state and had two bottles of soap available, but one visitor told this newspaper that the toilets weren’t flushing correctly.
The upkeep of the toilets at the shoulder of the mountain was first highlighted in these pages by a visitor to the area back in January.
John Kinsella, who was visiting the area from Dublin, said the facilities were ‘not fit-for-purposed’ and needed to be ‘modernised’.
“They need updating, that’s basically it. They are not really for-for-purpose,” he told The Mayo News on Saturday.
His wife Linda described the toilets as ‘dirty’ and ‘not fit-for-purpose’.
“It’s a fantastic facility for Mayo, it’s a tourist attraction and it’s sadly kept,” she said.
The Kinsellas complimented the standard of the other facilities at the site, such as the car park and restaurant at the foot of the mountain.
“They are after doing a fantastic job on the walkway up, so this would be a very small job… it would make such a difference,” Mr Kinsella commented.
“It’s pathetic to see this,” Mrs Kinsella added, “I’ve travelled the world hiking, and the facilities when you go up a mountain; you have coffee shops, you have beautiful clean toilets, you have restaurants.”
Mary Touhy, who was visiting from Kildare, said the toilets on the shoulder were ‘not the best’, pointing out that they did not flush.
THE newly-elected Cathaoirleach of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District Cllr Christy Hyland called for state-of-the art toilet facilities to be installed at the bottom of the mountain.
The Independent councillor also said the outdoor toilets on the shoulder of the mountain needed to be upgraded.
“What we need to do there is refurbish the toilets, meaning new floor tiles on the floor, tiles on the wall, new cubicles, new cisterns – it would not cost mega money – it’s just to refurbish those toilets and have them in a proper good way,” he said.
Cllr Hyland cited the recent work that was done to refurbish the pathway up to the mountain, and he thanked the landowners for their cooperation. “The toilets that are there [at the car park] even though they did get a slight facelift, they are out of date,” he told The Mayo News.
“It’s an absolute disgrace that we haven’t very modern toilets so that when people park their car at Croagh Patrick, which they’re charged for, that we can’t have state-of-the-art facilities so that people can go to the toilet before they make the climb,” he added.
“Then we have the issue, as you climb Croagh Patrick, that we need a new cubicle there as well, a proper cubicle, that would be maintained on regular basis.”
Cllr Hyland’s fellow councillor Peter Flynn said called for the parking charges to be scrapped until the toilet facilities are upgraded.
Murrisk is currently the only area in the county outside of urban centres that charges car parking fees.
“It is the only attraction that we charge for in the county and yet the facilities are an embarrassment,” Cllr Flynn told The Mayo News.
“If I don’t see some action to address the facilities then I will be proposing we suspend the parking charges until such time we see some real action.”