The inclusion of funding in the city council’s budget for a new toilet facility in Salthill which designed with greater accessibility for people with a disability has been welcomed.
The city council budget for 2021 adopted on Monday includes €50,000 for a Changing Places facility in Salthill, which will make the seafront easier for people with a disability to utilise.
A Changing Places facility is larger than a standard accessible toilet in that it provides 12 sq. metres of floor space and additional equipment such as a full coverage ceiling tract hoist and a height adjustable adult size changing bench.
Councillor Clodagh Higgins first proposed the addition of such a facility in October of 2019, and a motion on the matter that December received the unanimous support the council.
“There are thirteen Changing Places facilities in Ireland, and eight of these are located in Dublin, and I found it really difficult to comprehend why no Changing Places facility was available in Galway.”
“However, this position has changed as a result of my council colleagues buying into my vision and I am enormously grateful to them for this,” Councillor Higgins said.
The cost of proving this facility is approximately €50,000, of which €40,000 was agreed by the governing pact at the city council, Cllr Higgins said, while she used her full allocation of €10,000 to make up the total.
This cost does not include any ongoing maintenance costs. Cllr Higgins said that she will be requesting a meeting with Minister of State with responsibility for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte to ensure any shortfall is made up.
“This is a game changer for people with complex needs. It will improve their quality of life and make everyday tasks that bit easier,” Councillor Higgins said.