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08th Apr 2022

Wheelchair user’s story of being stuck on train highlights accessibility issues in Ireland

Sarah McKenna Barry

The young woman had to travel two stations further and call her parents for help.

Access for All Ireland, a disability rights group, has shared an account of an Irish wheelchair user who ended up being stuck on a DART as the station did not have the ramp available.

In a thread on Twitter, the group explained that the young woman was dropped off at a station where she met with friends. A staff member assisted her onto the train, and then she was able to disembark at her destination with no problem.

However, on her return journey, when she arrived at her station, she learned that the ramp had not been left out.

Explaining the situation on Twitter, Access for All wrote: “The driver couldn’t leave his post and therefore she couldn’t disembark. Her friends were trying to get assistance and an offer was made by another commuter to help.

“She didn’t want to be lifted as a 20yr old she was afraid something would happen and she would topple out of her wheelchair plus she is 20.”

The group added that she felt panic and stress, and was then forced to travel two stations further and called her parents “in distress”.

When asked by the group if she would make a formal complaint, the young woman said that she wouldn’t as she knew that “nothing would get done” and that it would only cause her more distress.

Access for All have said that they hear this kind of story on a regular basis.

They said: “This is a story we hear on repeat from young disabled adults trying so very hard to be included in our society and to have equal access to all the tools that allow us as a people to be able to go about our daily lives unhindered. Transport, education, housing etc…

“But living with a disability or caring for someone disabled in Ireland in 2022 you are not equal and you never have been. Transport is one issue that we use to highlight this massive inequality. Poverty is greater when you have disability in your life and exclusion is accepted.”

The group continued: “We’ve really had enough of these stories and it’s time now that this changes. You can’t tell us to leave the car at home when in reality it’s the only way we can be independent in Ireland the only way we can safely go about our daily lives and not feel terrified of being alone.”

They then pointed to the disability and caring payment, which is between €207 and €223.

They said: “When we can’t get the infrastructure we have already working reliably and with regularity how can we plan for more, will it be just more of then same? And we are tired of living day to day, PUP €350 but disability and caring €207-€223, enough is truly enough!”

Feature image: Leah Farrell/