'Go online if you want 'spend a penny' in Castlederg! That’s what a local man claims he was told when he queried why it was so difficult to use the public loo in his home town! Therein lies the problem - there is no public loo any more.
Seventy-six-year-old cross-community worker, John Doherty, BEM, said he was shocked when he tried to access the public toilet off John Street in the town this week only to find it was locked.
He added he had a key for the disabled toilet section because he had a heart condition and had paid £3 for it under special arrangement with the council, but when he opened the door it looked like the toilet area, including the floor, had not been cleaned for weeks and was in a disgraceful state.
He contacted the Derry City and Strabane District Council's environmental health service office in Strabane to learn that the town's toilets had been officially closed for over four weeks.
"That was news to me, no one told us about it and there were no signs up to tell us where to go. The new signs about the closure have only gone up in the past few days. I was told this decision was made by the council, but I for one don't recall hearing anything about it. When I asked where could people in Castlederg go if they felt 'nature's call', I was told the council had made arrangements with the local Coop and Spar shops. I asked how were people supposed to know this, but was told this information was on the internet. This was incredible. How are you supposed to know that you have to search the internet to find a toilet?"
He described the decision to close the toilet as a denial of a basic human right.
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution.