change font size
high contrast

RehabCare Helping to Improve Accessibility in Clonmel Town

07/04/2015 RehabCare Helping to Improve Accessibility in Clonmel Town

Staff and Service users from RehabCare Clonmel have been busy since last year helping to improve the accessibility in Clonmel town for people who either have a physical disability, sensory disability, older people or those who have young children and are in prams. The group, along with the community have been working hard to address certain hazards in the town such as uneven surfaces on footpaths, differing heights on paths and the lack of verges at crossing points.

“The hazards on the footpaths in the town were impacting on my independence greatly”, said Gareth Meehan, who attends RehabCare in Bridgewater house resource centre and uses a wheelchair. “It was getting extremely hard to travel from the train station to the service every day. We decided it was time to look at the accessibility of the streets in Clonmel for people, like me, who find it a bit harder to move around.”

A group from RehabCare got together in September 2014 to look at accessibility in Clonmel town and how they could improve the situation for everyone in the community. The group was made up of people who use wheelchairs and included, Garrett Meehan, Laura Kennelly, Jessie McGrath, Michael Johnson, Geraldine O’ Donnell and Karen Daly and were supported by Niamh Corbett and Siobhan Roche who are staff in the service. The first action the group decided to do was to contact the local representatives in the area to address the issues. They got a great response from this action and a meeting was then organised with the interested parties, to discuss how accessibility could be improved in the town.

Independent TD, Mattie McGrath, Mayor Martin Lonegran and Jonathan Cooney, Borough District Engineer all attended the meeting with RehabCare. At the meeting, they discussed which routes should be the priority to change first. It was agreed that the route, Thomas Street from the bus/train station to the RehabCare resource centres, Bridgewater House and The Suir Drop, should be tackled first. The meeting was a great success and works in the area took place over the following few months. This particular route is now accessible and safe for people who use a wheelchair and for others who may have previously found it difficult to access.

Miriam Cleary, Centre Manager for RehabCare in Clonmel said, “Our service users and staff have put in so much hard work and effort over the last few months to make sure that this project was successful. Their efforts have meant that the town is a much safer and more accessible place for not just wheelchair users but for the elderly, visually impaired and for people with young children and prams. I’d like to say huge congratulations to the group for all of their persistence in seeing this project through to the end. We would like also to thank everyone who came on board and helped us to achieve these goals. The whole town will benefit from these efforts.”

The project will finally be completed on Tuesday, 14th April 2015 and RehabCare have challenged Independent TD, Mattie McGrath to travel the refurbished route in a wheelchair to see what he thinks of the final results.

The group aren’t finished yet though. They want to look at the other main routes in Clonmel too and ensure that the whole town is safe and accessible for all.

previous page

Latest Images From The Gallery