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Upmarket public toilets could see subscription service for unlimited access

Ireland's first upmarket commercial toilets have recently opened in Clifden, Co Galway. The toile...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.52 20 Jul 2021


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Upmarket public toilets could...

Upmarket public toilets could see subscription service for unlimited access

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.52 20 Jul 2021


Share this article


Ireland's first upmarket commercial toilets have recently opened in Clifden, Co Galway.

The toilets are located in a converted retail unit in the centre of the town.

Facilities available include family and individual shower rooms.

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The U-Luu pods will set you back €3.50 to use the toilet, and €15 to take a shower.

People can also pre-book the facilities, which have staff on-site.

Entrepreneur John Nagle, who is behind the new installations, told Newstalk Breakfast the bigger picture will see a subscription service to allow people to access toilets anywhere.

"The €3.50 is a sort of red herring in that the plan for the business is to roll-out across the 30 towns across the south-west of Ireland, and launch a subscription where for €100/€120 a year you can have unlimited access to any of our U-Luu restrooms throughout the country as often as you want.

"That's the long-term plan".

John says the idea came to him while he was travelling.

"The idea really came to us from trips aboard, more particularly south-east Asia, where western toilet facilities were not readily available.

"We came home from there about two or three years ago and we sort of parked the idea - and COVID put a momentum back into providing a safe and clean environment for individuals, old-age pensioners, families, parent and child to go in and have a better experience in public access toilets."

Picture by: U-Luu

Unattended toilets 'not workable'

On the price tag, he says this is to pay for comfort and security.

"What you have to do is do a comparative against what's out there at the moment, and why the existing toilet services are like they are.

"Despite the best efforts of county councils and town councils to make their toilet facilities very accessible and clean, unattended toilet services are just not workable.

"And we see that all over the country.... the reality is the only way you can have a proper safe, clean, toilet and restroom and shower facilities is to have it fully attended.

"And we have two to three full-time staff 10 hours a day in our facilities, they have to be paid for.

"Those that want to pay to use the services, they will get a fabulous service."

Acknowledging that the re-opening of pubs and restaurants would be big competition, he says: "But even at that, we've all had young kids in locations where the toilets are cleaned 20, 30 minutes at a time and you're trying to put your three-year-old on top of a toilet seat that's just after being used twice before you.

"It's just a different offer, really - people will continue to use public access toilets all over the country."

Upmarket public toilets could see subscription service for unlimited access

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Main image: U-Luu bathrooms in Co Galway. Picture by: U-Luu

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Clifden Galway John Nagle Public Toilets Subscription Service U-Luu Upmarket Public Toilets

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