Kells tourism caught short by lack of daytime toilets

The village of Kells is worried about local tourism spiralling down the drain because there are no toilets available to the public during the daytime.

The village of Kells is worried about local tourism spiralling down the drain because there are no toilets available to the public during the daytime.

With the local pubs now closed during the day, there is no refuge for visitors in need of toilet facilities in the village, Cllr Pat Crowley told Monday’s meeting of Kilkenny County Council.

The Fine Gael member asked if the council could do anything to relieve the situation.

“All of the pubs are closed during the day and there are no toilets in the village,” he said. “This crept up on us in the last three or four weeks.”

The picturesque village is a draw to tourists who come to visit the Augustinian Kells Priory, the Kells Flour Mill (Hutchinson’s Corn Mill) and the nearby Kilree round tower and 9th-century High Cross.

Cllr Billy Ireland (FG) noted that it was particularly a problem for older visitors. And the bad news for the village, he said, is that now “they are just not coming.”

Cllr Tom Maher (FG) asked whether there was a site available where a connection could be made to the local sewage system on a temporary basis.

He said the council should consult with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which has responsibility for Kells Priory – a national monument and one of the largest medieval monuments in Ireland.

County Council director of services John Mulholland said that “some kind of constructive solution could be considered,” although “between the revenue budget and the amenity grants we just don’t have the resources” for the council itself to provide a public toilet.

One answer, he said, would be to “come up with a solution in collaboration with the residents.”