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Barred from the pub!!

category dublin | miscellaneous | news report author Friday April 07, 2006 17:33author by Garry Tonerauthor email garry.toner at ucdconnect dot ie Report this post to the editors

Garry Toner, an Equality Studies student here in UCD is trying to organise an awareness campaign at a national level in relation to the rights of people with disabilities after an incident that occurred last weekend.

I am currently doing a Masters degree in Equality at UCD. I am an electric wheelchair user who has limited mobility. Last Friday night one of my classmates had a birthday party in a bar in Dublin. She had checked with the owner that the pub was wheelchair accessible to which he replied "yes, certainly, your friend will be able to access our pub". However, when I arrived there was a large step which I couldn't possibly access. At this point the owner suggested that the bouncers would lift my chair; to which I replied no as my chair weighs approximately 15 stone without me in it. They then suggested making a makeshift ramp with wood. This consisted of two pieces of wood which was extremely dangerous. Again I had to refuse, so finally they said they would make another attempt.

So what happened? Well, first of all wood was put down on the ground, followed by bricks and finally this huge metal, shutter contraption. I took the risk and went up this contraption. I made it in and then got a swift drink! Then I began to worry how I was going to get out again.

I was again placed on the ramp in front of the pub, with about 20 people outside looking on, and another 20 looking through the window; which made me feel extremely embarrassed and as if I was on public display! It was obvious risks were being taken with the make shift ramp. Before the wheelchair went down the ramp one of the staff accidentally pulled at the bar on my wheelchair, nearly breaking it. My wheelchair shot down the ramp, I lost control of it and nearly went over the curb into the traffic. Fortunately, I was able to somehow regain control of my wheelchair; narrowly preventing what could have been a very serious accident.

While the manager was helpful in organising the night, he wasn’t truthful in saying that the pub was wheelchair accessible. I like everyone else, love the craic. But it is very difficult when faced with obstacles like this when I want to go for a night out. I am from the North, where due to the Disability Discrimination Act, all public buildings must be wheelchair accessible, otherwise they could face court action. Why can’t we have the same legislation here?

We are currently running a campaign at UCD looking at how these difficulties could be overcome. What we are suggesting as a solution is that every pub, café, restaurant and bingo hall in Ireland should be in possession of a removable wheelchair ramp that cost only €87.00. The profits that pubs make on a Friday night would make this a drop in the ocean. And these removable ramps could be stored anywhere in the pub.

These ramps are available online at www.yourableshop.co.uk/modules/shop/products

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Garry Toner.

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Another Similar Article On This Here     UCD'er    Fri Apr 07, 2006 21:00 
   Unreal isn't it?     John Aherne    Sat Apr 08, 2006 13:13 
   Cheap Ramps     Wheels of Ire    Sat Apr 08, 2006 23:23 
   Reasonable Accommodation     Bamako    Sat Apr 15, 2006 14:19 
   Pub     Liam    Sat Apr 15, 2006 16:24 
   Where is the Equality if Pubs choose to be so exclusive ....     Michelle Clarke    Sat Apr 15, 2006 16:54 
   Jutice Equality and Law Reform. Pet Facility/Assistance Dogs     Michelle Clarke    Fri May 19, 2006 17:41 
   Near worst in Europe in our treatment to killing dogs.....it takes Sweden to observe and help     Jack Russell    Mon Apr 02, 2007 23:43 
   Well done Jack Russell or alias     K. T. Walsh    Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:59 
 10   Reply to Mr. Toner and Michelle     Kevin T. Walsh    Wed Apr 25, 2007 21:21 
 11   An Irishman's Diary by Frank McNally     Jack Russell Canine/Dog    Fri Apr 27, 2007 19:48 
 12   Unhealty attitudes to people and animals....Time for change, compassion and respect     Michelle Clarke    Wed May 02, 2007 22:46 
 13   Social justice and inclusion     Kevin T. Walsh    Wed May 02, 2007 23:16 
 14   Well done Minister McDowell.     Michelle Clarke    Thu May 03, 2007 14:42 
 15   www.accessibleireland.com     Jill    Sun Sep 23, 2007 15:50 
 16   Accessibility for Wheelchair users sight     Michelle Clarke    Sun Sep 23, 2007 20:27 

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