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design row Dublin City Council says new benches are for public seating after 'anti-homeless' claims

'The design of the benches includes arm rests. This is their sole purpose'

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One of the new benches outside the Custom House

One of the new benches outside the Custom House

One of the new benches outside the Custom House

Dublin City Council has said new benches installed in the Custom House area were for the “sole purpose” of providing more public seating. 

It follows claims that the council had installed “anti-homeless” benches in a Facebook post.

In the post alongside picture of a bench outside the Custom House is the question: “Why is Dublin City Council installing benches with anti-homeless design?”

The post generated numerous replies, with many of them critical of the council for the design of he benches which some believed had bars erected on them to stop homeless people from sleeping there.

“Because they don't want people to see for themselves the level of homelessness in their city!” one person replied.

However, Dublin City Council, said benches and planters “were put in a couple of weeks ago to improve the area outside the Custom House and provide more seating for the public”.

“The design of the benches includes arm rests. This is their sole purpose,” they added.

Meanwhile council, has been busy installing a number of temporary toilets and bins have been installed across the city ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Dublin City Council promised to install a further 150 portaloo toilets, 54 large eurobins, and 80 barrel bins in a number of locations in the capital, with specific focus on areas with high footfall.

This is in addition to the existing 3,310 bins and 28 public toilet locations across the city.

On the north side of the city, the toilets will be located on Wolfetone Square, O’Connell Street, Smithfield, the Royal Canal, Mountjoy Square, and Diamond Park.

South of the river, they will be on Sycamore Street, Temple Bar Square, Chatham Row, South King Street, Coppinger Row, Dame Court, Dame Lane, and Merrion Square.

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In a statement the Council said: “We will also be putting additional direct labour human resources in place to service the additional waste collection and contracted services for toilet management, including cleaning and queue management.”

The additional toilets will be open from 10am to 11pm daily.

The new public toilets and bins come after scenes of large crowds gathering around South William Street and South Great George’s Street last weekend were described by Tony Holohan as a “major open air party.”

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