Calls for wheelchair accessible play equipment in Shelbourne Park

Metropolitan District councillor Olivia O'Sullivan.

FINE Gael councillor Olivia O’Sullivan has requested that the council consider the installation of a wheelchair accessible swing at Shelbourne Park Playground.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, Cllr O’Sullivan explained that there is a young boy with severe cerebral palsy living in the area who loves going to the park but there is no accessible play equipment for him in the playground.

“His carer reached out to me to highlight this and explained that a wheelchair swing would greatly support his development, as well as bring him great joy to be able to participate in the playground,” the City North representative said.

“It is challenging enough that we don’t have sufficient playground facilities in the Northside for our children, but children such as this little boy are suffering the most. In the limited facilities that we do have, he is excluded from the simple joy a swing could bring to his day.”

“There are lots more children with disabilities that would benefit if we can look at how to update older playgrounds like Shelbourne Park Playground to make them more inclusive for all,” Cllr O’Sullivan said.

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“The Council will consider the installation of an accessible swing in Shelbourne Park playground,” senior council engineer Aidan Finn told the councillor.

“However, it is dependent on whether there is space available for this piece of equipment. It may involve the removal of other pieces of equipment or there may be the option of installing other accessible play equipment if space does not allow for the installation of a wheelchair swing.”

Mr Finn told Cllr O’Sullivan that the local authority will investigate the options available for accessible play equipment and will advise in due course.

“It should be pointed out that there is currently no funding allocated for an accessible swing for Shelbourne Park playground,” he added.