Irish Rail urged to reopen toilets

by Gazette Reporter
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IRISH Rail has defended its decision to close toilets at Donabate Railway Station and has confirmed that the facilities will not be reopened.
This statement was made in response to calls from Cllr Paul Mulville (Ind) for Irish Rail to “see sense” and reopen the toilets. The facilities at Donabate station were closed four months ago as part of a cost-saving exercise that involves the closure of toilets at numerous other stations along the Dublin commuter belt which Irish Rail believe to be underused.
Cllr Mulville said this was “totally unacceptable as Irish Rail commuters, who already suffered a recent fare increase last winter, will be left to face the inconvenience of the company’s short-sighted decision.
“Irish Rail may well say there are toilets on commuter trains, but reports in the media [on Monday, March 2] for example, point out that our commuter trains are again becoming overcrowded.
“Delays to the service are also increasing – for example, a 30-minute wait on Monday morning. On top of all this, the toilets in Donabate were only refurbished a short number of years ago.
“Furthermore, the people of Donabate/Portrane have a particular high usage of the train to get to work – about 1,100 people at the last census.
“On a normal day, it is absolutely essential that toilets are available in stations to railway commuters. Older people, parents with young children and people with illness are particularly in need of toilet facilities. With overcrowding and delays occurring more frequently, it is clear that this decision must be reversed and the toilets in Donabate, and other north county stations, be immediately reopened,” he said.
In response, a spokesperson for Irish Rail said: “The toilets at Donabate Station have been closed now for four months and we have not received a single complaint. As stated [by Cllr Mulville], there are toilets on board all services operating through Donabate.
“The usage of the toilets at the station was low, and there were high instances of vandalism and antisocial behaviour. It also represents a significant cost-saving for the company.”

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