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Hoax statement made by Dublin Lord Mayor to raise disability awareness

Dublin City Council released a false statement suggesting people with disabilities may be allowed use cycle lanes.

shutterstock_302274179 Source: Shutterstock/TNPhotographer

THE LORD MAYOR of Dublin Brendan Carr caused a stir this weekend with a hoax statement suggesting that people with disabilities may be allowed to use cycle lanes in the city.

The statement read:

Currently, we are aware of the extent to which people with disabilities have to go to circumnavigate obstructions on the pavements. I think they would be better off using the cycle lanes and would like to ask what the people of Dublin think about this.

He told TheJournal.ie that Dublin City Council released the statement to raise awareness of the hazards people with disabilities have to deal with.

“We put the statement out to see what the reaction would be. Because on a daily basis when people with disabilities are using footpaths they have to deal with locked bikes and blocked pathways – and it’s stopping people with disabilities from getting around the city,” Carr said.

Disability campaigns have been on board with the hoax, which is why they haven’t complained about it, according to Carr.

“The same can’t be said about everyone else. Which was the whole point – to make people think about how they would like it if they had to deal with the same thing,” he said.

“The idea is that sandwich boards, bikes and things like that won’t be used to block footpaths, to make people aware that there are others who can’t get around the city with the same ease, wheelchair users, people with impaired sight. We want people to start thinking before they act.”

The real campaign

Carr made the comments as Dublin City Council prepare to launch a campaign today to highlight the difficulties people with disabilities face in Dublin.

The outdoor advertising campaign aims to make people aware that their simple everyday actions can create major difficulties for people with visual and mobility disabilities.

The advertisements feature visuals of a climbing wall in place of a badly parked car, a barbed wire fence in place of an overgrown hedge, and a climbing frame in place of an on-street obstacle, such as a sandwich board or bicycle.

Dublin Bus, bus shelters and a number of JCDecaux outdoor sites in the city will all feature the adverts.

Commenting on the campaign launching today, Carr told TheJournal.ie: ”A lot of money is going into it, to tell people who are parking their car not to block footpaths and the like, to let them know they can’t do it.”

Mick Keegan, spokesperson for Labour Disability and the Post-Polio Support Group, said: “We all use the footpaths to get around the city safely, but if you are blind or use a wheelchair, it’s not so easy when people park their cars on footpaths or attach their bikes to lampposts and cause obstacles.”

“We hope this disability awareness campaign will make people think before they park their car, bike or any other thing that will block the footpath, as these innocent actions make it harder for people with disabilities to get around this great city of ours.”

Read: Taking rundown Dublin buildings and turning them into homes

More: Council says new ‘stationless bike’ company does not have permission to operate in Dublin

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