Aging Independently & The Role of Infrastructure

Aging Independently & The Role of Infrastructure

Aging Independently & The Role of InfrastructurePoliticians often tout terms like “Accessibility” and “Inclusion”, especially when discussing the care of the aged.However, these words often remain just that – words.

The reality is that the maintenance of basic infrastructure, which can mean the difference between independent living and needing care, is often overlooked. When people can’t access local amenities like shops, libraries, or doctors, life becomes bleak. READ MORE BELOW

They lose social skills, risk malnutrition, and neglect self-care, leading to health issues. Prioritizing infrastructure in our neighborhoods is essential for independent living. For instance, the state of the footpath at the junction of Bishopstown Ave and Bishopstown Ave West, a predominantly elderly neighborhood, is a glaring example of this neglect. It’s high time we address these issues seriously

Fighting for Accessible Public Spaces

Fighting for Accessible Public Spaces

Highlighting the struggles faced by people with mobility challenges in public spaces and advocating for improved accessibility.

The struggles and obstacles that people with disabilities and anyone young or old who has mobility challenges face when they are out and about are quite exhausting. Complicated Pedestrian Crossings are a real danger. This one at the junction of Inniscarra Rd and the Main Road is notorious for cars jumping the lights . In order to cross one section of road we have to through 3 sets of lights. Every time you cross a road you take a risk.

The second photo is off an electric car charging point at the newly constructed Lidl, where the cable from the car traverses the only footpath access. Footpaths and pedestrian access are only an afterthought.

Does anyone actually review these at the planning stage?  Does anyone cast a critical eye over them? This is something that really gets to me! Political Parties and State Institutions are all talk about Inclusion and Integration. They’ll be knocking at your door waxing lyrical. Yet, a look around the locality at the infrastructure and poor maintenance of footpaths will tell you a lot about the priority placed on access and independent living. People with Disabilities are generally pedestrians or using public transport, yet considerations around access are always something that has to be justified and fought for.
Access and Independent Living are something which I will pursue at Council level for the benefit of everyone in our community.
Dog Fouling: A Hidden Health Hazard

Dog Fouling: A Hidden Health Hazard

Dog Fouling: A Hidden Health HazardThis is a personal account of the health risks and social implications of dog fouling, emphasizing the need for greater attention and initiative

Today Dog Fouling cost me €30 and a lot of unnecessary hassle and anxiety. Not because I was fined, but because my son who has an Intellectual Disability, stood in it while we were on our way to the cinema and attempted to clean himself by wiping it off on his clothes. This necessitated a diversion into Dunnes to buy a new tracksuit pants and a quick change and wash in the toilets. He’s 6ft 3ins. He doesn’t adjust easily to change of plans or stress. He doesn’t understand the risks of dog faeces.

Every year Disability Organisations and Campaigners, myself included, highlight the risks around dog fouling. It is something when neglected and allowed to develop has a huge impact on the independence and mobility of people with disabilities. This is something that we need to have more focus. The health risks are significant. Dog faeces contains Campylobacter which causes severe tummy upsets. It may also contain Toxomara Canis, Dog Roundworm,. This can damage internal organs and cause blindness.

This is something that I would like to bring to Cork City Council for more attention and greater initiative. It’s something that really doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Not only from the point of view of the health risks but the social aspects. It is a real sign of a downturn in an area when there is a Dog Fouling problem that is left unattended. We need to do better for our neighbourhoods for our physical and mental health.

Water Safety in the Regional Park

Water Safety in the Regional Park

Water Safety in the Regional ParkIt is a sad and alarming fact that drownings are an ever present danger where there is a body of water. The community in Ballincollig is all too aware of this. We are blessed to have this amazing recreational facility in the Regional Park but it is not without risk and we must be vigilant.

On average between 2017 and 2021 there have been a total of 118 drownings per year in Ireland.

Males represent 76% of drownings in Ireland.

Some aspects of drowning that we should all be aware of is that it is often silent and fast.

In 67% of cases people are engaged in other recreational activities such as walking, hiking, swimming before they drown.

Where children are concerned, vigilance is the single greatest factor in reducing child drownings, according to Water Safety Ireland.
(All statistics from Water Safety Ireland)

As a frequent user of the Park I’ve had a few close shaves near the water myself. This has made me keenly aware of the potential for accidents near the water.

The opening of the Fionn Laoi Loop Walk brought a welcome new extension to the Regional Park. However, the access to the water there is extensive. It was with this in mind that I raised the issue of the absence of Lifebuoys with Cork City Council in 2021 along this stretch when it was initially opened. It gives me great satisfaction to know that the Council took swift action to rectify the situation once it was brought to their attention

Regional Park Vandalism: Community Outcry & Taxpayer Burden

Regional Park Vandalism: Community Outcry & Taxpayer Burden

Regional Park Vandalism: Community Outcry & Taxpayer BurdenIt is very sad to see a distressing image of vandalism emerge, once again, from the Regional Park. Early Saturday morning this picnic bench was destroyed by fire. This seems to be a cyclical occurrence in the Park once the fine weather and brighter days approach.

Many people in our community have expressed their outrage to me that these spates of vandalism are occurring. I think there is often a notion entertained by some in authority that these are somehow victimless crimes. They aren’t. The community as a whole is a victim.

The families who use these picnic tables for recreational activities are victims and of course, the tax payer who has to foot the bill for replacement is also a victim. This type of criminal activity has a knock on effect on when it is allowed to go unchecked.

I have been in contact with Cork City Council and An Garda Siochána to express my concerns and those of the community of Ballincollig that this behaviour is taking off again in the Regional Park.

The Regional Park, Now A haven Thanks To  Activist Joanne Murphy

The Regional Park, Now A haven Thanks To Activist Joanne Murphy

The beautiful Regional Park located in Ballincollig is the lungs of Cork City. Originally developed as a Gun Powder Mills in the 18th century. The site fell into disuse in the early 1900s and was acquired by Cork County Council in the 70’s and transferred to Cork City Council with the boundary change and thus, began the transformation into the wonderful amenity we have today.

I am passionate about this Park. I walk there daily and I have benefitted greatly from its peace and tranquillity over the years. I feel a great sense of responsibility for its welfare.

The Regional Park, Now A haven Thanks To  Activist Joanne Murphy

For many years this delicate ecosystem of trees and wetland was plagued by a dark secret. There was a cloudy foul smelling discharge flowing into the Canal System. This was polluting a large section of the Canal System, destroying wildlife habitat and the wildlife itself. It became an attraction for vermin which flourished as a result. Many locals brought this to the Councils’ attention but were dismissed. I took it up and after several years of dogged persistence on my part, the Council eventually recognised the problem and set about resolving it. They identified the source of the effluent, redirected it into the public sewer system and dealt with the vermin.

The return of clear water and the restoration of the ecosystem along this Canal has been extremely gratifying and I am very grateful to Cork City Council for seeing this through. As we all, know Ireland’s pristine waterways are coming under increasing pressure and are in decline and it gives me great satisfaction to have given something back to Park that has given me so much refreshment over the years. I think this is where I’m at with nature restoration. I can’t solve the global crisis but I can solve the issues that I see around me. I can’t save wildlife habitats globally but I can save those in my neighbourhood.

Carers’ Rights Void: Referendum Fallout

Carers’ Rights Void: Referendum Fallout

Carers’ Rights Void: Referendum FalloutOn a personal note, as a Family Carer, I would like to thank everyone who voted No in the Referendum. The so-called Carers Referendum offered Carers nothing. It was a mere husk of a Referendum in terms of Rights and Obligations. It allowed the Government put Care right back as the sole responsibility of Families. It made no mention at all of the Rights of People with Disabilities.

As a party we are very pleased with the outcome, it demonstrates a rejection of a deeply flawed referendum on family and an empty marketing referendum on Care.

I think the result shows that the major political parties in this country are extremely out of touch with the electorate.
This referendum represents a lack of trust, not just in the government, but also in Sinn Fein, Labour, the Soc Dems and PBP. There is a growing disconnect between the political establishment and the people, and that includes most of the opposition as well.
Aontú was the only party in the Dáil to actually listen to people and their concerns and this has been reflected in the result.

It’s time all of the parties in Leinster House asked themselves how they got this so wrong.
What the government need to do now is actually work on real, tangible support for our citizens rather than focussing on virtue signalling rhetoric. I think what the people of Ireland want is for the government to tackle the bread and butter issues – health, housing, the cost of living, childcare, farming.

These referendums represented peak virtue signalling from the government. The Yes side were caught spreading misinformation on multiple occasions. When it looked like the No side might win, Minister’s started promising welfare reforms as a reward for a yes vote.
The government need to stop with the culture wars and start fixing our broken systems – reform of the carers allowance should be on the priority list now.