A call has been made to install wheelchair swings in playgrounds across Laois.
Independent Councillor James Kelly raised the matter at this morning’s meeting of the Borris-In-Ossory/Mountmellick Municipal District.
Cllr Kelly described it as a very emotive issue for those involved and spoke passionately about the disappointment experienced by wheelchair users when they see their counterparts being able to enjoy a swing.
He said: “I am calling on Laois County Council, as part of its ethos of inclusiveness, to provide funding to install wheelchair swings in the playgrounds of this Municipal District.
“I know of people from Laois who are driving to Tullamore to avail of a wheelchair swing – and that is a fair trek.
“A wheelchair swing enables wheelchair users to to enjoy the motion of swinging.
“I know this is an emotive issue for families if one child is wheelchair dependent and has to watch their siblings having fun while they cannot.”
In reply to Cllr Kelly, Ann Marie Maher of the Sports Section of Laois County Council said: “We are providing a range of accessibility equipment at Mountrath Amenity Area and Coolrain playgrounds.
“Current procurement is underway for Borris-In-Ossory which has a provision for accessible equipment.
“Over the next three years, further consideration will be given to the accessibility and inclusivity of playgrounds in Mountmellick, Clonaslee, Castletown, Rathdowney and Mountrath – subject to available funding.”
In reply, Cllr Kelly said he wished to see wheelchair swings throughout the county.
He said: “I want to see one of these in every playground in Laois – starting with our municipal district.”