Video: Derry mother Claire McGill on disabled play access victory - ‘I was choking up myself trying to hold back tears’

A mother whose daughter can’t use a park outside her front door hopes disabled-unfriendly facilities will soon be a thing of the past.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 5:27 pm

Claire McGill was speaking after taking part in a powerful Enagh Youth Forum presentation to the Council Environment & Regeneration committee.

The EYF’s youth-led ‘Nothing Without Us’ campaign demands every play park in Derry be equipped with proper disablity-friendly swings, roundabouts and pathways in future.

Claire told councillors that despite having a park right outside her home she has to travel six miles to Brooke Park because it’s the only facility suitable for her daughter Sianon, who uses a wheelchair.

Claire McGill and her daughter Sianon.
Claire McGill and her daughter Sianon.

Councillors were moved by Claire’s testimony and that of the young people from the forum. She said she was confident the dark ages in terms of disabled access are over.

“I came out thinking stuff is going to get done. We are going to be considered, children are going to be considered,” she said.

The Strathfoyle mother said she was particularly encouraged to hear councillors commit to making disablity-friendly parks a bottom-line of Council policy.

“It will make a huge difference to our family. The park is literally a two minute walk from our house. If we have the equipment there for Sianon and our other boy then there is no need for us to go any further. It’s literally outside our front door.

“There were very positive vibes coming from it and a lot of the councillors were touched by it.

“I was choking up myself trying to hold back the tears.

“It seems there’s going to be a new way forward for children with disabilities and play park provision.”

Claire McGill and her daughter Sianon.