Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Disability Matters

National Disability Inclusion Strategy: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of Thomas GouldThomas Gould (Cork North Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I thank everyone for their contributions. They are very profound, especially that of Dr. McDonagh.

I will talk about lived experience. There was an issue in Cork this year, and witnesses might be able to give me some advice. Cork City Council closed some streets to provide for more on-street dining. This resulted in the closure of some disabled parking spaces and the opening of new ones. In the new spaces, cars opened onto the road and did not have access to footpaths. When we engaged with the city council on the matter, it seemed to be willing to deal with the issue. Are some local authorities setting a benchmark for disability parking and access to buildings? I tried to get Cork to become a city that would be considered to be a disability friendly city. That is something we should consider pushing nationally.

Like Deputies Wynne and Tully, I have a lot of friends who have different types of disabilities. I promised them that when I got to the Dáil I would continue to fight to highlight their issues. We will work with the committee in the best way we can to try to accomplish things.

Housing is a major issue. I am on the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage. I would like to hear the thoughts of the witnesses on whether on a percentage of all housing developments should be ring-fenced for people with disabilities. Is that something we should push?

The witnesses spoke earlier about some of their legislative priorities. What are the key priorities that we need to work on the hardest?


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