Sinn Féin local election candidate Conor D. McGuinness has called for an accessibility audit to take place across Dungarvan and West Waterford as a matter of urgency.
“Everyone should be able to use our public buildings and amenities, our footpaths and paved areas without facing barriers and obstacles, or the fear of falling.
“There is a widespread problem with footpaths in Dungarvan and Abbeyside and a need for a large-scale upgrade. This work needs to take place as a matter of urgency.
“There are also significant problems with new footpaths and paved area, where paving blocks are loose, where gullies create an obstacle, or where kerbs are too high.
“This issue affects people with disabilities, as well as older and infirm people. It also affects people with prams and buggies. There has been a number of serious trips and falls in recent months and the Council is risking huge financial exposure by not addressing this issue now.
“I have spoken to older residents who are afraid to walk the short distance from their home to local services because of the fear of tripping or falling on uneven and broken footpaths.
“As an increasingly popular tourist destination West Waterford is failing to live up to the expectations of visitors with disabilities. Ireland has led the way in developing an international award for accessible tourism, however its clear that Dungarvan is a long way from attaining the standard required.
“I am calling for an accessibility audit to take place to identify shortcomings and to ensure that repairs are up to modern accessibility standards.”