Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Irish town proposes urine wardens

Public urinator

A town in County Clare is at the forefront of tackling the age-old problem of public urination.

Last week, Ennis man John O'Connor installed a device which transmits an electric shock to those who relieve themselves outside his shop.

The device has sparked debate in the town, with one councillor suggesting the appointment of two "urine wardens".

Paul O'Shea said the wardens would patrol the streets at weekends looking out for revellers urinating in public.

"The wardens would then notify the gardai and on-the-spot fines would be issued," said Mr O'Shea, who chairs the Joint Policing Committee in Ennis.


However, the town's mayor, independent councillor Frankie Neylon, warned the job faced by urine wardens could be hazardous.

"If our traffic wardens are getting spat at during the day in carrying out their duty, I believe any urine warden would be in a lot of danger at 3am," he said.

Green Party councillor Brian Meaney suggested a "name-and-shame" website could be set up where local residents could upload photos of people urinating in public.

The electric shock device has already claimed its first victim, despite a warning on the wall which says "electric current in operation, urinate at your own peril".

Mr O'Connor said last week he installed the device because the smell on Monday mornings was deterring customers from visiting his traditional music shop.

He said he also plans to place photographs of anyone engaging in anti-social behaviour outside his premises on a billboard in one of the town's busiest streets.

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