County councillors have expressed their anger and disgust at dog owners who are throwing bags of their pets’ faeces onto trees at a cemetery in a town in Co Cork.
The issue was raised at a meeting of the East Cork Municipal District Council by Fine Gael councillor Susan McCarthy, who said she could not understand why people were bagging the dog dirt and then throwing it up on trees at the main cemetery in Midleton.
She said this was not just a disgusting thing to do but it also showed “no respect for the dead”.
“That is just unbelievable. What is wrong with these people,” said Independent councillor Mary Linehan Foley.
Some councillors maintained that while this behaviour was totally out of order, especially at a cemetery, it might be prompted by the lack of dog fouling bins, not just in Midleton, but throughout towns in the county.
Sean O’Callaghan, the most senior council official for the municipal district, said the council did not have the resources to go around the county emptying dog fouling bins.
Sinn Féin councillor Danielle Twomey said that a group in the nearby village of Castlemartyr had asked the council to provide them with bins and offered to empty them themselves. However, the council told the group that they had no bins available.
Ms McCarthy earlier proposed that the local authority set out a plan for the issue of dog fouling and littering in public spaces to be addressed in a meaningful way.
She asked that this include awareness campaigns in schools, in the print media, and on social media. She also asked the council to provide bins “at strategic locations” where people were known to walk dogs.
Ms Twomey said providing bins was up to the council’s environment section in County Hall and maintained “they don’t seem to listen”.
She described it as “crazy” that bins would not be provided to the Castlemartyr group who are offering to do the work for them.
“If we’re going to address this problem we have to make it easier for people [to dispose of the waste],” said Green Party councillor Liam Quaide. “It has to be addressed with national government as it’s a problem all over the country.”
Mr O’Callaghan agreed it is a matter which needs to be addressed nationally and quickly. However, he said he would write to the council’s environment director and to the council’s Environment Special Purposes Committee requesting they issue dog fouling bins to communities willing to clean them out.