Appeal for gardai to liaise with disability groups
MAYOR Pio Smith and disability rights campaigner Michael O’Dowd handed in a letter to Drogheda Garda Station with local woman Maria McCabe on Saturday, expressing frustration with people parking on footpaths.
Maria outlined the problems she faces in the letter to Supt Andrew Watters:
‘ My name is Maria McCabe, I am a wheelchair user in the Drogheda area and live beside the Drogheda institute of Further Education. In the past couple of weeks cars have been parking on the footpath beside the Moneymore entrance all the way down to the boxing club.
‘ The cars are a huge obstruction and are blocking my path to get to town or wherever I need to go and blocking my way to get home. It is not fair on me or any other person who is in a wheelchair nor is it fair on women with prams or pedestrians or to people who are visually impaired.
‘It is my understanding that it is an offence under the roads act to park a vehicle on a public footpath. While I have no desire to see hard pressed drivers fined or prosecuted it is important that I am allowed live my life independently and that means going around the town without obstruction.
‘I would like to see something done about this as this can’t go on for much longer. There has to be a long term solution to this problem so it does not happen again. I would respectfully suggest that a member of the Garda Traffic Corp would be given responsibility to ensure that all the footpaths of Drogheda are accessible for vulnerable pedestrians at all times.
‘ This designated officer should liaise with disability groups and be available to act immediately on complaints.’
Maria McCabe outside Drogheda Garda Station with the Mayor of Drogheda Cllr. Pio Smith and disability activist Michael O’Dowd