Bray, Co Wicklow
Padraic Moran is 32 years old from Bray, Co. Wicklow. He is a World Champion Boccia Player and has represented Ireland at 2 Paralympic Games. Padraic, who has celebral palsy is also a wheelchair user who relies on public transport to commute from Bray to Dublin City Centre every day.
Mobility is a very important issue for people with physical disabilities. Transport is key to people with physical disabilities realising their independence. When it comes to holding down a job, socialising or going on holidays just getting there can often be the greatest challenge to overcome. Unbelievably, Ireland still does not have a fully accessible public transport system of taxi service.
Padraic Moran is supporting Irish Wheelchair Association’s ‘Is it cos of my wheels?’ campaign which highlights the many challenges and obstacles prohibiting people with disabilities from living full and independent lives. Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) has called on the Government to focus on 3 key areas for the upcoming Budget 2018: investment for an accessible public transport system; plans for appropriate and affordable housing; and additional funding for Personal Assistant Services.
Working with, and on behalf of, people with physical disabilities to drive positive change in Ireland, IWA developed the ‘Is it cos of my wheels campaign?’ alongside its members to demonstrate the inequality people with physical disabilities face on a daily basis.
Joining IWA outside Leinster House, Padraic Moran alongside IWA’s CEO Rosemary Keogh and other supporters submitted a petition signed by over 8,000 people.
Speaking at Leinster House, Padraic described the inequality he faces as he struggles to access public transport:
“I rely on public transport to commute from Bray into Dublin City Centre every day. Each morning I must contact my local DART station to ensure that the lifts in the station will be working, that the station will be manned by staff to assist with ramp access and that I will be able to disembark safely at the other end of the journey also. Is it because of my wheelchair I have to complete this process? Yes, is the answer and far too often I am met by obstacles, problems and challenges which prohibit me from commuting to work. This should not be the case in 2017, it is time for change.”
IWA on behalf of their members is calling on the Government to change the Government’s unfair treatment of people with disabilities and to ensure Budget 2018 is an inclusive budget for all, so that people with disabilities have a fair and equal opportunity to live their lives independently.