RESIDENTS of a Shannon neighbourhood are crying ‘foul’ at being kept awake at night by ‘talking’ signs urging dog owners to clean up after their pets.
A meeting of the Shannon Municipal District heard that there are “sleepless nights in Drumgeely” with residents disturbed by the signs which were installed to help prevent dog litter on the streets.
The signs play pre-recorded messages reminding dog walkers to obey the law when it comes to dog litter, however according to Councillor Gerry Flynn the message is being heard late into the night in the homes of residents.
He told the meeting that he has been contacted by people living in the area about the issue saying, “This is a very settled community with older people living there, people can’t sleep at night.”
He continued, “It’s a disgrace these signs have been put in an inappropriate place next to the pioneers that made Shannon.”
Tom Mellett, senior executive engineer stated that the signs are movement activated and have a time limit which means they should not be operating at night.
He agreed that having the signs operating “24/7 would not be appropriate”.
Councillor Flynn concluded by saying if the sign is not removed “I can tell you it will disappear.”
The matter was brought up at the meeting as part of a wider discussion about the need for “appropriate signage regarding dog fouling” in Newmarket-on-Fergus. Councillor Pat McMahon commented it is a “pure shame” that some dog owners do not clean up after their pets.
“People don’t realise the amount of damage that is being done, ordinary people are walking through the village going about their business and then they are bringing it (dog litter) into their houses. People don’t realise what children can pick up.”
Mr Mellett, responding to the motion stated, “Clare County Council currently operates a leave-no-trace policy. Appropriate signage will be placed in Newmarket-on-Fergus.”
Councillor John Crowe commented, “this is a problem all over the municipal district” saying signage should be erected in all areas.
“It’s an absolute disaster, families are out with buggies and it is being brought back into houses.”
Councillor Donna McGettigan insisted more enforcement of the law is needed to tackle dog fouling.
Councillor PJ Ryan pointed out that dog litter can cause health issues for children.
“It can cause blindness and other major sicknesses, this is very, very serious,” he said.
He continued, “At the end of the day it is down to the responsibility of people, we can put up all the signs we want but people have to take responsibility for their own actions.”
Councillor Ryan suggested, “We need more education on the dangers of dog fouling to children and everybody.”
Councillor Pat O’Gorman said the signs work in educating people to clean up after their dogs, but added people need somewhere to dispose of dog waste.
“Signage works, the voice signs works, it’s about educating people but we also have to have facilities so people who are prepared to do it [clean up after their dog] can do it.”