Continental style, self-cleaning public toilets come to Wexford.

Trying to keep public toilets clean is a headache for local authorities all over Ireland. But this is no longer an issue in Wexford, as taking inspiration from the French, Wexford County manager Noel Dillon has invested in three new space age public toilets, each costing £30,000. 

Now for the price of ten pence, the people of Wexford can relieve themselves in a clean and comfortable single cubical public toilet, at any time of the day or night. 

Noel Dillon highlights the benefits of the toilet in Wexford Town. Immediately after use, in ten seconds flat, the floor and seat are washed, disinfected, dried and ready for use. The facility is heated, comfortable and even has piped music to help people who may feel claustrophobic. The fact the toilet is unisex should not be a barrier to use.

Well that’s a feature on the continent and after all we are after becoming Europeans so maybe we have to get over some of these hang-ups.

As a safety feature the toilet doors automatically open after 15 minutes have elapsed.

If you can’t sort yourself out in a toilet in 15 minutes I think, you know, other questions could be asked.

The toilet was launched at the opening of Wexford Festival Opera, when an estimated 600 people availed of the new facility. However if the toilet is to break even, 180 people a day will have to use it. 

Members of the public, while intrigued by the toilet, seem reluctant to try it out. One intrepid woman who did put the toilet to the test decreed.

It is nice, the music kind of put me off.

Another woman also approved.

It’s a big improvement, very clean and hygienic.

This episode of the 'Gay Byrne Show' was broadcast on 4 November 1987. The reporter is Philip Kampff.