By Dan Walsh at Vinegar Hill
The controversial new visitor toilet unit at Vinegar Hill is making the local headlines again! It has been closed on health and safety grounds after part of the roof was blown away recently.
The news was shared with the members at last Monday’s meeting of Enniscorthy Municipal District Council when disclosed to members by District Manager, Ger Mackey.
The provision of a toilet on Vinegar Hill was the brainchild of Cllr Jackser Owens who campaigned vigorously for the facility to assist elderly visitors to the famous 1798, battlefield site landmark overlooking Enniscorthy and visible from across the county.
The Council was slow to grant the facility with arguments against the proposal siting too few visitors, the requirement for full-time staff to maintain hygiene standards, and, of course, the cost!
The unit was identified for a defined site, but local objections meant it ended up on a different site, it was a modern construction costing in the region of €10,000 and it was opened to the public in August.
It was “the butt of a joke” soon after when a prankster placed a lock on the door and not even the workers could gain access. However, the matter was quickly resolved, and normal service resumed.
Recently, it was discovered that part of the roof had blown off and was located some distance away in the bushes. No witnesses or no accuracy as to when it happened, and the Council had no choice but to lock it up as “a matter of health and safety.”
The Vinegar Hill toilet saga is legendary in Enniscorthy town, but this appears to be the last straw. Like plans for the cable car from the Turret Rocks to Enniscorthy Castle it is likely that it will be consigned to the “tried that and it didn’t work” category.
Meanwhile, this year is the 225th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion and commemoration plans are taking place for some special occasions – especially on June 21st next – and the County Heritage Officer has been invited to the February meeting of the Council to discuss future tourism plans for Vinegar Hill.