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Old Head toilet facilities criticised


POPULAR Old Head beach has been busy all summer but there has been severe criticism of the facilities there for the public.

Anton McNulty

A BALLINTUBBER native says he was embarrassed to bring his in-laws to Old Head beach because of the poor state of the toilets at the west Mayo beach.
Old Head beach near Louisburgh is one of the most popular beaches in the county and has been packed in recent weeks due to the hot summer weather.
However, Ballintubber native Pat McCarthy, who now lives in Donegal, told The Mayo News that he was ‘embarrassed’ to bring his in-laws to the beach because of the poor state of the toilets and other facilities.
“I love going to Old Head and have been going there since I was a child but this summer I was embarrassed bringing my in-laws there. Going into the male toilets you had to wade through water and as you go in the stench of urine is absolutely atrocious. Apart from that it is a health and safety hazard because you could easily slip in those toilets and when you do you will be landing in a mixture of water and urine. For me as a Mayo man it is embarrassing seeing facilities like this on a beautiful beach like Old Head,” he said.
Pat, who is 54, suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and epilepsy and currently lives in Letterkenny. He said as someone with a disability he has to be careful not to fall and he cannot understand how a county which attracts so many visitors can have such poor facilities.
He explained that his wife is from Derry and he brought his in-laws to Mayo at the end of July and apart from Old Head, he said the toilet facilities in Croagh Patrick are also not up to scratch.

Better facilities
“Up here in Donegal we don’t get the same amount of visitors as Mayo to beaches but from what I have noticed the facilities are much better. The facilities here in Rathmullen beach in Donegal are ‘A’ standard in terms of toilets and changing areas and it doesn’t get near the same numbers as Old Head. I feel Mayo County Council are letting down the county and I don’t understand how they cannot see how bad the toilets are there,” he said.
“When we were in Mayo we stayed at the Lough Lannagh Holiday Village in Castlebar and we had a great time there. Old Head is a beautiful beach but if you have to go to the toilet you might be safer going for a pee in the sea. The facilities haven’t changed since I was a kid and it’s an absolute disgrace. Next time we are down we will go to Achill or Ballina because you can’t enjoy your holiday when you have toilet facilities like that.”
He also criticised the size of the disabled car parking spots at the beach saying that it was almost ‘impossible’ to get in and out of a car with a wheelchair when two cars are parked along side each other.
“The council might say the parking spaces are done to the guidelines but maybe they need to ask someone with a wheelchair to show them how difficult it is to manoeuvre. It can be very frustrating and embarrassing and it should not be this way,” he said.