At the last Council meeting of the year, Councillor Clodagh Higgins proposed a motion calling for Galway City Council to commit to exploring the possibility of a feasibility study to provide for a Changing Places Accessible facility in the City. 

Changing Places Accessible facilities differ from regular disabled toilets as they provide 12m2 of floor space and include both a full room coverage ceiling tract hoist, a centrally located toilet bowl with space either side for transfers or assistants and a height-adjustable adult size changing bench.

The motion was supported unanimously by her Council colleagues.

Councillor Higgins said “standard disabled toilets do not meet the needs of all people with complex disabilities. Therefore, it is incumbent on us as public representatives to provide facilities that enhance the dignity of someone who may need extra support and additional equipment during personal care tasks. But also there is a health and safety imperative to having such facilities as the user will be protected and indeed their assistant too”.

Councillor Higgins stated “there are twelve Changing Places facilities in Ireland and eight of these are located in Dublin with the others located in Limerick, Offaly, Meath and Wexford. It is not good enough that a section of our community do not have similar facilities to those available in smaller towns and cities”. 

Councillor Higgins concluded, “over the course of 2020 many more tourists will be visiting Galway and we need to ensure that we cater for everyone. We need to be seen as an open, diverse city who  cater for every section of society. People with such requirements deserve no more and certainly no less”.

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