FIVE years after Dromore’s town park toilets were closed on an apparently temporary basis, the district council has confirmed no further decisions have been taken as to if or when they might re-open.
It was in September 2007 that The Leader first reported emerging confusion over access to the toilets.
Then, a local man disputed an earlier council claim - itself in response to rumours that the park loos had been closed to curb criminal and antisocial behaviour - that they opened on a seasonal basis, closed for the winter and open from mid-March until the end of October.
The council said confusion might have arisen because the disabled toilets had been closed following an arson attack, but the puzzled resident insisted he and his children were frequent park-users and the toilets had been closed throughout the summer.
The local authority later confirmed the toilets - an all-in-one block of ladies’, gents’, and disabled loos - had in fact been closed, but only, it said, in preparation for imminent refurbishment.
“Isolated as they are,” said the council’s Eric Morton, “they do suffer a high degree of vandalism, but they are currently awaiting refurbishment.”
Five years down the line and the toilet block remains closed, with vandalism the reason given for the closure, and, in the meantime, a portable loo placed at the Banbridge Road entrance to the park was set alight and completely destroyed by vandals in November last year.
Quizzed as to the current position regarding toilet provision in Dromore Town Park, the district council’s Director of Environmental Services David Lindsay said this week, “No further decisions have been taken regarding the status of the toilet block located in Dromore Park.
“It was deemed necessary to close the facilities here as a consequence of persistent vandalism and a portaloo was provided at the park to supplement the newly redeveloped public toilet facilities that are provided at Dromore Town Hall.
“The current arrangements appear to have been meeting the needs of the town and in due course the Council will be assessing the situation as regards any further investment in public toilet provision in Dromore.”