The offence, which was witnessed by council staff, happened at the People’s Park
LIMERICK City and County Council has secured its first court conviction relating to dog fouling.
A dog owner who lives in the city centre was successfully prosecuted before Limerick District Court last Friday relating to an incident at the People’s Park on the morning of January 6, last.
The man, who is aged in his 60s, was initially issued with an on-the-spot fine after his dog was seen fouling by two local authority workers who were in the People’s Park at the time.
A court prosecution under the provisions of the Litter Pollution Act was initiated by the local authority over the summer after the man, who owns a black Labrador dog, failed to pay the initial fine.
The man pleaded not guilty to the charge and following a contested hearing, Judge Marian O’Leary convicted him and imposed a fine of €80.
The defendant was also given six months to pay the costs of the council associated with the prosecution which totalled €380.
It is open to the man to appeal the conviction and the severity of the penalty to the circuit court.
While not commenting on the specific case, a spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council renewed an appeal to all dog owners – across the city and county – to clean up after their dogs if they foul on public footpaths, roads or green areas.
“All dog owners have a responsibility to clean up after their animal. It helps to keep our parks and other public areas clean and tidy. Environmental Inspectors will issue fines and prosecute owners who are caught not cleaning up after their dogs. Our message to all dog owners is to clean up after your animal. It is your civic duty,” said the spokesperson.
The local authority says every complaint which is received from members of the public in relation to dog-fouling is followed up on and investigated.
Where appropriate, action such as the issuing of fines will be taken in cases where a culprit is identified.
A number of initiatives aimed at improving awareness of the issue and encouraging dog owners to clean up after the dogs will also continue.
These include advertising campaigns and social media campaigns such as “poop the scoop”.
In recent years, Limerick City and County Council has also installed plastic bag dispensers near the entrances to a number of public parks which are popular with dog owners.