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30/07/2021

Calls for a fully accessible Changing Place Toilet in the Abbey Quarter

Calls for a fully accessible Changing Place Toilet in the Abbey Quarter

Cllr Maria Dollard

A councillor had added her support to calls for a fully accessible Changing Place Toilet for teens/adults and carers, for the provision of personal care, to be included in the Abbey Quarter development. 

Cllr Maria Dollard said she was spurred on by the appeal of Fiona O’Neill, herself a family carer, at the Strategic Policy Committee last Friday.

"I listened to Fiona explain the need for adults and teens to have a space, with a hoist and an adjustable changing table, where their carers have adequate space to provide personal care and I knew I had to help follow this up," she said.

Cllr Dollard said that she had been in contact with her Green Party colleague, Minister Malcolm Noonan, who told her that the Department of Housing has already set up a working group of relevant stakeholders, including the advocate group Changing Places Ireland, to examine the provision of Changing Places Toilets in certain buildings.

"I was surprised and delighted to hear that the working group had met twice already," said Maria and added that she has asked Minister Noonan for an update on the work of the group to date. 

Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State in the Department of Housing, is responsible for committing the Department to the setting up the working group when Deputy Steven Matthews, Green Party TD for Wicklow, brought the need for Changing Places to his attention in the Dáil in October 2020. 

At present, Kilkenny does not have a Changing Places Toilet although MacDonagh Junction has a step-down facility with all the features of a Changing Place without a hoist. 

"We have a great opportunity here to be progressive by including a full Changing Places Toilet in the Abbey Quarter Development", says Maria.

"There is no reason why adults and teens should be limited in where they can visit due to the lack of toilet facilities and I will pursue this at both the national and local level." 

For more information on Changing Places see https://changingplaces.ie/

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