Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Justice and Equality

Disability Services Provision

Photo of James BrowneJames Browne (Wexford, Fianna Fail)
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318. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to promote the roll-out of additional changing places facilities in urban areas (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2818/20]

Photo of Finian McGrathFinian McGrath (Dublin Bay North, Independent)
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Part M of the Building Regulations do not at present require the installation of changing place facilities. Notwithstanding this, some local authorities have installed changing place facilities. An example of a public body going beyond the minimum requirements in Part M is the motion passed by Dublin City Council to install changing place facilities in all new build and green field developments. I would certainly encourage all local authorities to be as far-sighted as this to enable the dignity, and indeed safety, of the person with the disability to be maintained at all times.

The objective of Changing Places Ireland to introduce fully accessible toilets in public places such as shopping centres, libraries and sporting arenas across the country is important and requires careful consideration.  As the Deputy is aware, the Government did not oppose the Community Participation Bill 2019, a Private Members' Bill. This Bill’s objective is to facilitate the inclusion and full participation of people with disabilities and their family and friends in their communities by enabling greater access to public spaces.  As with all legislation, the Bill lapsed on the dissolution of the Dáil, but it is hoped that there will be some advancement in this important area when the next Government is formed.


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