Rush residents call foul over dog mess blighting the area

by Sylvia Pownall

Three out of four residents of Rush see uncollected dog waste as a “significant problem”, according to an online survey.

The seaside village is calling ‘foul’ on owners who don’t pick up after their pets after a study by the local Tidy Towns group exposed the scale of the problem.

With a population of just over 10,000 people, some 519 Rush residents took the time to answer the 10 questions posted online and gave dog poop a resounding thumbs down.

The findings showed that 74% see uncollected dog waste as a significant problem, with a further 18% describing it as a “frequent” problem.

A shocking 86% say they spot dog waste left on footpaths, green areas and the beach on a daily basis, with another 13% encountering the problem weekly.

Public footpaths (93%) pose the biggest problem, followed by residential roads, green areas, the beach and sports grounds.

The vast majority of those surveyed believe owners fail to pick up after their pet, or discard full poo bags, due to laziness, or a lack of consideration, lack of enforcement and a shortage of poo bins.

Tidy Towns member Siobhan O’Reilly, who organised the survey, said: “This was one of the top two issues raised at our AGM. It’s not limited to Rush, but we decided to have a look at what we could do about it.”

One wheelchair user who completed the survey described the issue of dog fouling as “a significant hygiene issue”, adding: “I have to touch the wheel of my manual chair.

“If I’m in my power chair, I’m bringing [dog waste] into my home, and am unable to clean chairs or floors myself. I’m sure prams and kids’ bikes have the same problem.”

A mother-of-three said: “Since the New Year, the poo on the paths is insane. The walk to school has turned into a slalom walk.

“I have a baby in a pram, a toddler on my hand and while trying to avoid the poo on the right, the buggie drives through poo on the left. It’s disgusting.

Dog poop can carry infectious roundworm parasites, which in extreme cases can cause blindness in children.

The survey results will now be forwarded to Fingal County Council and the committee hopes it will help to highlight the issue and spread public awareness.

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