Inside the new U-Luu in Clifden, Co Galway.

Council won’t charge punters for spending a penny

Locals looking to spent a penny still won’t have to pay a dime after the county council refurbishes public toilets at the centre of Cavan Town.

The local authority will continue to manage the facilities, rather than follow the lead of other councils, which have allowed public toilet facilities to be taken over and managed by private firms.

Last month headlines were made when the country’s first upmarket, commercial toilets opened in Clifden, Co Galway.

Located in a converted retail unit on Courthouse Square, there was consternation at the fact that users were being asked to fork out the princely sum of €3.50 to go to the loo.

The enterprise is the brainchild of Galway entrepreneur John Nagle. His ‘U-Luu’ pods are contactless, fully automated and overseen by nine full-time staff seven days a week. They also provide shower facilities, are wheelchair accessible, family friendly and include breast feeding facilities.

Mr Nagle suggested that the business plan is something that could be expanded elsewhere around the country.

But Cavan County Council says its plans to fully renovate the public toilet block at Townparks, opposite Tesco, does not include the potential for the facility there to slip into private hands.

“The public toilets at Townparks, opposite Tesco, will undergo a full renovation of existing facilities. It is intended that this work will be completed in advance of the removal of toilet facilities at Town Hall Street,” a spokesperson confirmed to The Anglo-Celt.

They add that the public toilet block opposite Tesco will “remain in the ownership” of Cavan County Council and that the local authority will “continue to manage the maintenance” of same.

“It is not proposed to introduce any charges for the use of these facilities.”


Refurbishment and investment at the intersection of Town Hall Street and Farnham Street are part of a wider project aimed at redeveloping and rejuvenating the historic Abbeylands area of Cavan, while also laying foundations aimed at promoting pedestrian access to the town core.

The council secured funding of €500,000 for the project, and an additional €250,000 from the Outdoor Space fund.

Planning for the project was granted earlier this year for a proposal that will see the demolition of the existing toilet block to the rear of the Townhall car park to make way for a new outdoor performance space.

A total of 18 car parking spaces will still be retained in the area, while railings are to be repositioned and a specially commissioned mural installed at the site also.

The proposal, the council say, will “work in tandem” with the overarching Abbeylands redevelopment project. Earlier this year Minister for Local Government, Darragh O’Brien, allocated €14.49 million for the development of a masterplan that looks to deliver a new Remote Working Hub and a Community Services Centre at the former McIntyre’s building on Abbey Street and Donohoe’s Foodfare respectively.

The two new buildings will frame the site of the Old Abbey and the famous bell tower, which itself is to be transformed into a new civic space; while new streets will link to Main Street and Bridge Street, creating over 4,500m² of new, pedestrianised public space.


Cavan Town centre to be transformed