Supporting Opinion

Galway dog fouling continues as ‘successful’ campaign is dormant


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway dog fouling continues as ‘successful’ campaign is dormant Galway dog fouling continues as ‘successful’ campaign is dormant

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

Imagine you had a problem. Now, imagine that you found a solution that reduced that problem by as much as 60%.

Wouldn’t you think you’d use that solution again, or continue to use it? Especially if it wasn’t an expensive solution and there were no other obvious barriers to using it.

Well, evidently not, if you are Galway City Council.

The problem is dog fouling. It is a widespread problem, one that is being raised on the doors by voters as Local Election candidates come knocking.

And management at City Hall had declared in a press release in February 2022 that it had found a solution.

It claimed that its ‘novel’ campaign introduced in 2021 had reduced dog fouling by 60% in the five trial areas, where it had instigated the ‘Clean it up you dirty pup’ initiative.

In these five areas, this catchy slogan was painted onto the footpath or road where dog fouling had been extensive.

Volunteers from businesses or residents’ associations got involved by spraying and counting individual dog foulings on a weekly basis in a defined area.

They used chalk or yellow spray-paint to circle the dog poop, and they reported back to the City Council.

This, according to City Hall, had reduced the prevalence of dog excrement in one area by 75% in six weeks.

Now, even allowing for those self-reported percentages to be a little bit inflated, we were led to believe it was an incredible success.

And yet the campaign – unlike dog fouling – seems to have disappeared.

The trial areas, including at the city’s canal Back West, is as dirty with dog excrement as ever.

That’s obviously the fault of dog owners in the first instance. . .but even allowing for scepticism over the effectiveness of the Council’s solution to the problem, if we take the stats at face value, surely this campaign needs to be revived if the Council is serious about cleaning up our streets of dog sh*t?

Pictured: Signs introduced in 2021 during the City Council’s campaign to tackle dog fouling. The scheme seems to have disappeared and the problem is as bad as ever.

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