Thank god for Dublin's new public toilets 4 months ago

Thank god for Dublin's new public toilets

There are public toilets in Dublin now.

I never thought I'd see the day.

For months, the coronavirus pandemic has rendered any of us who want to go for a jaunt around town helpless, incapable of drinking a bottle of water, downing a coffee, or swigging a can for fear of needing to use the bathroom... and there not being one there.

But now there are pubic toilets in Dublin - and they're beautiful.

The severe lack of public toilets has long been an issue for Dublin city. Head into town for a regular day out last summer, and you'd be relying on restaurants, bars, hotels and shopping centres for any means of relief.

Such feats weren't so bad. The toilets weren't necessarily public, but for the most part you could use them - if you were purchasing something or willing to fork over a 50c cleaning fee.

Enter coronavirus lockdown: a period of time that has, for the most part, rendered us unable to go out for dinner, enter our friends' houses or, God forbid, use the facilities in the Jervis centre.

Gone are the days of buying a tea in exchange for the bathroom door code, or sneaking past McDonald's security guards to leg it upstairs - things we, as people who pee, arguably should not have to do to relieve ourselves anyway.

For a while there, the only toilets available to the public were those in train stations. On multiple occasions I found myself trekking across town (uncomfortably) to avail of the Connolly Station bathrooms. Twice I half-jogged to Heuston to avoid disappearing into the bushes to squat ungracefully 20 feet away from the date I was on.

The only other options were to hold it in, or stay home: two alternatives I had no interest in undertaking due to my respect for my bladder and my desire to see my friends.

There are plenty of aspects of the "new normal" that remind me of my childhood: wandering the streets, consistently dying for the toilet but not having access to one, acting immediately suspicious around Gardaí despite having done nothing wrong.

It's like being a teenager again, except you're washing your hands more.

Thankfully last weekend saw a partial end to the trials and tribulations associated with the above. Dublin City Council's introduction of the public bathroom on Stephen's Green means no more squatting, but it also means no more discomfort... at least for the time being.

More of them, please. Thanks.