‘Journal’ story makes the headlines

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Our front page news story last Friday, ‘City of Culture but ... Where are the toilets?’ (pictured right) has been picked up on by local and regional media outlets in the seven days since publication.

Both BBC Newsline and UTV followed it up with news stories on their evening news programmes.

And our reporter Catherine Doran was invited onto Radio Ulster’s popular Talkback programme to discuss the situation alongside Raymond Martin, Director of the British Toilet Association.

He talked about the organisation’s involvement with Liverpool when they were awarded European City of Culture, and said he would be more than happy to come to the city and give advice as regards toilet provision.

Comments on the story online have also been plentiful, with most readers agreeing that the facilities currently available are simply ‘not good enough’.

One comment said: “What an embarrassment, who is responsible for this oversight, they should be fired, it’s really pathetic that they expect thousands to come to the city and they never thought that people would need to use toilets? Someone really needs to give an explanation why this was overlooked. Saying that they get vandalised is not an excuse.”

Another person simply stated: “The whole thing is a joke.”

Following our representations, Ilex, the urban regeneration company, said the portable facilities at Ebrington Square would be re-instated “by Easter”.

In recent days Derry City Council have also said that “Council’s Event Team are planning to increase public toilet provision in 2013 by placing a number of semi-permanent portable toilet blocks in and around the City Centre area augmented by additional provision at times of key events.”