Tuesday 23 July 2019

Wheelchair group is marking 50 years

The Diary - Hubert Murphy

It is wonderful to see the Drogheda Branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association celebrating 50 years this year.

And what a credit that is to Oliver Murphy, involved in the formation of the Drogheda branch with Fr. Florian of the Franciscans and a group that has done so much to highlight the difficulties faced by people in wheelchairs.

It's interesting to note what Oliver said 25 years ago on the subject. 'It has to be said that before the branch was formed the public never really realised how hard it is to get around in a wheelchair and many disabled people felt that they were facing an uphill battle alone. Things have certainly changed for the better, though there is still a lot to be done,' he said.

'Mr. Murphy revealed that branch members have been heartened to see the developers of number of new buildings in the town taking the problems of wheelchair access into account.

'The Drogheda Town Centre, for example, has toilet facilities for the disabled while a public phone has also been provided especially for people in wheelchairs and this is much appreciated,' he said.

'We are also very pleased to see that the management of the Glenside, the Rossnaree and Boyne Valley hotels catering for the disabled while in the Westcourt Hotel people in wheelchairs can gain access through Bridie Mac's Lounge,' he said.

'I suppose the post office is still the biggest bone of contention with our members but we will still continue to campaign and hopefully our pleas will be listened to at some stage.'

(He got his way there in the end).

The past 25 years has seen even more progression and the IWA is now based in the Workspace Centre, providing a great service to the community.

No doubt, they have plenty organised to mark the 50 years this year.

Drogheda Independent