Disabilities groups to highlight transport issues

Disabilities groups to highlight transport issues


Dermot Hayes

People with disabilities in association with the Clare Citizens Information Centre, will come together today Friday to highlight the inaccessibility of the Irish transport network.

This year we have been promised by the Irish government that our human rights will finally be recognised through ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability.

Some 25 years after the introduction of Independent Living in Ireland we question the progress we have made when our basic access to society is still severely restricted through an outdated and inaccessible transport network.

The Clare Leader Forum who work, with the support of the Centre for Independent Living (CIL), to provide an independent voice on disability issues, are encouraging all people with disabilities to come together and highlight this growing issue.

Dermot Hayes, who is a representative of the Forum, believes that this meeting is vital as “Equality for all when it comes to accessing publicly funded accessible transport is an issue for many people in county Clare and beyond. Because of our limited income, we, as people with disabilities, cannot continually afford to access private transport. We are very reliant on public services and the truth is they are far from adequate”.

Padraic Hayes, Chairperson of the Clare Leader Forum, is calling on the Minister for Transport to “help ease the isolation and loneliness people with disabilities are experiencing daily – people have become prisoners in their own homes and the state has an obligation to address this”.

Although the Forum recognises that progress has been made in the last 25 years there are still major improvements to be made and for this to happen the government need to listen to the issues people are experiencing. The reality is that ‘’getting out of home independently of one’s family is impossible, to meet up with friends, go looking for a job or socialising is just not an option.’’

The Clare Leader Forum are calling on all people with disabilities, their supporters, families and friends to come together at the Temple Gate Hotel Ennis from 10.30 to 2pm. Several keynote speakers will be available on the day including representatives from the Brothers of Charity, Clare Bus, Shannon Airport, and Bus Eireann.

Everyone is welcome on the day and if you would like any further information or have any specific requirements for the day please contact Dermot Hayes on 086 1731955.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.