50 signatures reached
To: Mayo County Council
Keep Mayo's Beach Toilets Open All Year Round
Mayo's beaches are used all year round, but the public toilets at the beaches are closed for half the year, from October until May.
We're asking Mayo County Council to keep the beach toilets open all year round.
Why is this important?
Toilets are an important public amenity which serve our most basic bodily functions. Access to public toilets isn't just a matter of convenience, it's a matter of dignity and social equality.
Mayo's beaches are visited and used all year round, by a wide variety of people, engaged in a multitude of activities, and in all types of weather.
People do not stop using the beaches during the Winter. In fact, for many people, the quieter Winter months are a more enjoyable time to visit the beach than during the peak Summer period.
Why, then, does Mayo County Council deny access to public toilets at our beaches for half the year? In early October the toilets are locked up, the public bins are removed, and beach users are left without these basic facilities until the following April or May.
For some people, access to a public toilet is simply about convenience - it's not necessarily a deal-breaker - but for many more people, a public toilet can be a determining factor in whether they visit a public amenity such as a beach.
Women, disabled people, older people, people with children, and many others in our society are unfairly impacted by a lack of public toilets. Where these facilities exist, such as at our beaches, they should be accessible all year round.
To be frank, the people least affected by the lack of public toilets are non-disabled men, who can pretty much pee wherever they like (and who don't have a menstrual cycle).
For everyone else, if there's no public toilet available, there's a calculation to be made: How long can I spend in this place before I'll need to pee? Can I visit at all? Should I risk my dignity, and potentially my personal safety, by squatting somewhere out-of-the-way just to pee?
By denying these facilities for half the year, Mayo County Council is effectively closing the beaches to a broad section of our society, and this is not equitable or acceptable.
We call on Mayo County Council to immediately reopen the public toilets at all our beaches, and to keep these essential facilities open all year round.