Fears by Coillte that it may have to remove newly installed toilets at one of Co. Kildare’s most popular public amenities has been described as ‘bizarre and nonsensical’ by Aontú Cill Dara.
Coillte issued the warning in correspondence to the party following a recent petition Aontú organised seeking that litter bins be provided at Donadea Forest Park.
The petition was warmly supported by visitors to the 300-acre forest park and garnered hundreds of signatories.
Aontú rep for North Kildare, Úna O’ Connor wrote to Coillte seeking the urgent provision of bins – However, far from being moved to install the bins to serve the thousands of people who flock to the forest park, Coillte instead responded by saying that due to littering at the new toilets it may have to remove them.
Today, Anita Mhic Gib, Cathaoirleach of Aontú in Kildare said she was mystified by the response from Coillte, describing it as “totally contradictory and bizarre”.
“I am astounded that the response from Coillte to Aontu’s calls for litter bins should be met with such a bizarre and defeatist response. Instead of providing bins throughout the park to facilitate people and stop littering, they say they fear they may have to remove the new toilets at the entrance to Donadea Forest Park. This is absolutely crazy and makes no sense whatsoever”
“Talk about a disproportionate response and proposed solution”.
“We pointed out to them that there were indeed no bins in both toilets, normal standard facilities in toilets. There was also no soap or towels to dry one’s hands. But this was just part of our wider concerns about the lack of facilities for people, who love visiting the park and pay an entrance fee of €5 for the privilege of doing so”.
“Taxpayers paid for the installation of these toilets and for Coillte to blithely even consider removing them is a slap in the face for the public “.
“It is a lazy and reactionary response. It’s actually incredible that asking for additional facilities should be met with fears that Coillte may remove existing ones. Our petition for bins to be installed was met with huge support from the public. I feel they will be agog with this repose from Coillte”.
“Our campaign for bins to be provided to serve the public stands. We want the bins to be installed for the convenience and health of the public and we clearly want the new public toilet facilities to remain. People love bringing their dogs to Donadea , it is made for beautiful long walks but dog fouling is a huge concern as excrement cannot be safely and cleanly deposited in a bin as there simply are none.”
“Dog litter is a potential health risk to people, especially children who are naturally curious and love poking around the ground, thereby exposing themselves to possible health risks if there is dog excrement. Coilte say that they want people to leave no trace but the problem is there are traces everywhere. Bins make common sense. Leave no Trace is wonderful in theory, in practise it is not working at Donadea Forest park”.
“A fiver in, people want and deserve a bin”.
“Anything less is a gross insult by the body charged with the management and upkeep of this fabulous forest park”.