A GARVAGH mother has slammed irresponsible dog owners who let their pets foul outside Balnamore Primary School.
Katherine Brennan, whose seven year old son attends the school, hit out at the culprits stating that they should be named and shamed adding: 'Does a child have to lose an eye or become ill before they stop?'
Speaking to the Times Katherine of Mettican Road explained: "Balnamore Primary School is bad with poo. Every morning I travel from Garvagh to Balnamore to take my son to school and every morning I see fresh poo lying at the gate and the surrounding area.
"Balnamore is a great school and that's why I travel but I am fed up with having to put up with this disgusting mess. And a lot of the other parents feel the same.
"Everyday children end up running, slipping and standing in dog dirt and then sitting in it all day. The poor teachers and caretaker are then having to deal with it by scraping it off, wiping it on the grass or washing it off in the sink - that alone is not hygienic.
"What are we supposed to do? Put our children in welly boots just to go to school and then let them change once they are in the classroom? Does a child have to lose an eye or become ill before they stop?
"I believe we should name and shame these irresponsible dog owners who are causing us so much distress.
"One parent who has three children is trying to educate her children to be healthy by walking to school however she ends up making her children walk on the road as the pavements are just too filthy with dog dirt - it's just scandalous."
Over the past week Katherine has written letters to parents at the Balnamore Road school calling for their support to get some kind of group organised.
Thanking Ballymoney Borough Council for all their help with the campaign the mother of two, whose daughter will be attending the school next year, continued: "I would like to thank Karen Mitchell from the Council who has really helped me. She has got a sign made up appealing to dog owners: 'No dog fouling, Please clean up after your dog, Monitoring in progress, Offenders will be prosecuted'.
"They have also promised to carry out day and night patrols to catch the culprits and have been power hosing the school front."
Karen Mitchell, Environmental Warden at Ballymoney Borough Council confirmed: "In recent weeks the council have received a number of complaints regarding irresponsible dog owners who continue to allow their dogs to foul our footpaths and green areas and fail to clean up after them.
"This anti-social behaviour is totally unacceptable and anyone detected will be prosecuted. Balnamore School is not the only area to be suffereing.
"I can be contacted on 028 276 60257. Information will be treated in the strictest confidence."
"Hopefully we can improve our environment therefore making it a healthier safer place for us all to enjoy."