‘Huge dog fouling problems’ in Newmarket-on-Fergus and voice activation system causing sleepless nights in Drumgeely
‘HUGE PROBLEMS’ associated with dog fouling have been ongoing in Newmarket-on-Fergus for ‘at least twenty years’, a local representative has claimed as a voice-activated system to remind owners to remove feces belonging to their dogs leaves Shannon residents sleepless.
Appropriate signage reminding dog owners of their responsibility to clean up after their pet has been placed in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Shannon Municipal District Senior Executive Engineer Tom Mellett confirmed.
This follows a proposal from Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) who claimed ‘huge problems’ with dog soiling have been ‘ongoing in Newmarket-on-Fergus for at least twenty years’.
He said: “We all love dogs, but I’m afraid we don’t follow through on that love when we walk around with the state of our trails. The vast majority of owners show a lack of foresight, they don’t realize the damage they are causing to the trails in Newmarket-on-Fergus, ordinary people wander through the village going about their business and end up stepping on dog poop and bringing it back into homes, people don’t realize what children can pick up and the damage they cause. It affects every person.”
Summonses regarding dog soiling in the county “are rare and rare,” McMahon commented. “I would like a poll to tell me how other countries are doing, if we can learn there is no call-up or follow-up in Clare,” he said.
Areas of South Clare are struggling with problems left behind by dog soiling, observed Cllr John Crowe (FG). “I think you could expand it to all our areas, it’s an absolute disaster, families have come out with pushchairs and they’re taking it back to homes.”
The reference to the Council’s leave no trace policy was made by Mellett, but according to Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF), the policy “is no longer good enough unless you follow the policy”. She credited Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) as a ‘dog sleuth’ for her efforts to track down owners leaving behind bags of poo on the Shannon Loop Walk, which resulted in the addition of drip systems. activation reminding owners to clean up.
Responsibility must be borne by dog owners, stressed Cllr PJ Ryan (IND). “What some people don’t seem to realize there is a major health issue for children, dog soiling can cause blindness and other serious illnesses, you can put all the signs you want but that’s responsibility for people, they have to take responsibility for their own actions, that’s where we fall in. They all like to go out and walk the dog, but no one likes to pick up poop. We need to educate people about the dangers that dog soiling can create for children’s health”.
Shannon’s Loop Walk benefits from the voice activation system, Cllr O’Gorman said. He recalled questions about the number of dog poop bins in Lahinch and informed the meeting that there were two on site. “Signage and voice work, it’s about educating people.”
A contrasting view was put forward by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) on the voice activation system. “I have been contacted by a lot of people in Drumgeely, they are very sedentary people, they want a particular system disabled in the houses at the back of Corrib Drive, they can’t sleep at night.” He said there are one-minute and twenty-second intervals between the announcement with a current problem repeating itself rather than springing into action based on movement. “It’s a shame when they’re put in inappropriate places, it’s located next to unfortunate people who are Shannon’s pioneers, it causes sleepless nights.”
In response, Mellett said a limit on the number of announcements made at night needed to be in place. “If it’s not moved, it will disappear,” Flynn warned, “it’s hard enough for retirees in an area without that disturbance.”