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Councillor Tony O'Brien has called for action on dog fouling in Killaloe. Photograph by John Kelly.

Call to act as dog fouling remains a sticky issue

DOG fouling continues to be a “huge issue” in Killaloe, despite extensive efforts to encourage responsible ownership, the municipal district committee has been told.
At last month’s meeting, Councillor Tony O’Brien called for the installation of special bins in the town to allow those walking their dogs to dispose of excrement.
While the senior executive engineer (SEE) said that bins may not be necessary, as the existing ones can take dog litter, she gave an undertaking to look at the possibility of providing dispensers for litter bags.
In a written response to Councillor O’Brien’s motion, SEE Niamh Madden noted that the majority of people walking dogs in public spaces are conscientious about picking up dog litter.
“Unfortunately, still some dog owners … do not take proper responsibility in relation to dog fouling,” she said.
“Providing dispensers and dog litter bags has benefits and encourages dog owners to be aware of their responsibilities.”
Ms Madden noted that despite the best efforts of the local authority in supporting dog owners, there is still a problem. She outlined the extensive range of initiatives the council has undertaken, in the Killaloe district, and elsewhere to address the issue.
“It has been identified, that even with dispensers in place at various locations throughout the county, the problem of dog fouling still exists,” her written reply stated.
“It is important to state that free “Scoop the Poop” bags for dog owners are available at Clare County Council offices throughout the county.
“The Environment section of Clare County Council is working with the Killaloe Municipal District and local community groups to address the issue of dog fouling across the area.”
In April and May of this year, Clare County Council ran a ‘Bag It, Bin It’ campaign in an attempt to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets.
Ms Madden noted the council is also currently running a hard-hitting campaign to advise dog-owners of their responsibilities in relation to dog fouling.
The notice, which is advertised in local newspapers at the moment, requests dog owners to clean up after their dog in order to prevent ‘mess, smell and disease’.
Additionally, footpaths in the Killaloe Municipal District have been stencilled with a message to remind dog owners to prevent dog litter on the paths.
“The council can also, upon request, provide leaflets on responsible dog ownership to local community groups or resident groups for distribution in the area,” she said.
“It is hoped that through the council’s education and awareness campaigns, all dog owners will take responsibility for their own dogs, which will result in a reduction in the amount of dog waste throughout County Clare.”
The SEE also undertook to look at the possibility of additional facilities in Killaloe.
“Dog owners can currently bag dog excrement and dispose of it in the existing bins within the municipal district,” she said.
“However, the Killaloe Municipal District will examine the possibility of providing dog litter bag dispensers in the town of Killaloe to assist dog owners in keeping the streets free of dog fouling.”
Councillor O’Brien thanked Ms Madden for her reply and welcomed the commitment to look at the problem.
“If the dispensers were available when people are at the beginning of a walk – it’s long walk around Two-Mile Gate, for example – that would assist them,” he said.
Councillor Alan O’Callaghan was supportive of the motion.
“When people are doing the right thing, they should be accommodated,” he said.
“Dog fouling is a huge issue. Anyone who is cooperating to stop it should be encouraged.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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