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Matthews welcomes confirmation on Changing Places facility for Avondale House

Date: 21 October 2021


Deputy Matthews was speaking following the receipt of a letter from his Green Party colleague, Minister Catherine Martin, confirming that the upgrade works at Avondale House would include facilities that meet the criteria for ‘Changing Places’. Discussing the news, Deputy Matthews said:



“The news that Avondale will have this facility is hugely positive and I hope represents a mindset shift from designers, Department officials and local authorities. I first raised Avondale as a specific concern over the summer because even at that point, it was unclear whether the facilities would meet with the requirements that many families/ individuals require. I welcome the Minister’s clarification.


“I have been working with the Changing Places campaign in recent years and our goal is to amend Irish building legislation for these facilities to be mandated in certain public buildings. For those who are unaware, a changing place facility is a purpose-built toilet facility gives disabled people and carers more space and the right equipment to take care of personal hygiene, in safety and comfort.


“There is ongoing work behind the scenes by the Departmental working group on Changing Places that was established last year. The group is due to publish their recommendations on how best to proceed in an interim report before the new year. The group includes representatives from the Changing Places campaign, and I hope will offer a clear pathway forward. I look forward to engaging with various Government ministers on the report and continuing to push for Changing Places to be legislated for as soon as possible.


“Although it is hugely welcome news regarding Avondale, ultimately the goal is to have a situation whereby new public buildings or public buildings that are undergoing significant upgrades would be required to have changing place facilities included as part of the design. Until that happens, I will continue to advocate for Changing Place facilities in all suitable public buildings but I look forward to getting to the point where this will be the industry standard and not down to individual groups or politicians to push for the basic needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.


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