135. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to ensure the installation of changing places at strategic locations in towns nationally for persons with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40044/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy Finian McGrath): As the Deputy will be aware, installing changing place facilities is not at present a requirement under Part M of the Building Regulations. Notwithstanding this, some local authorities have installed changing place facilities and an additional example of a public body going beyond the minimum requirements in Part M is the recent motion passed by Dublin City Council to install changing place facilities in all new build and green field developments. I would certainly encourage all local authorities to be as far-sighted as this to enable the dignity, and indeed safety, of the person with the disability to be maintained at all times.
The objective of Changing Places Ireland to introduce fully accessible toilets to public places such as shopping centres, libraries and sporting arenas across the country is important and requires careful consideration. As the Deputy is aware, the Government did not oppose the Community Participation Bill 2019, a Private Members' Bill which is currently before Seanad Eireann. The Bill’s objective is to facilitate the inclusion and full participation of people with disabilities and their family and friends in their communities by enabling greater access to public spaces.