About Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA):
Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) is Ireland's leading representative organisation and service providers for people with physical disabilities.
We advocate for the needs of people with physical disabilities and provide services and support to over 20,000 members in their homes and communities throughout Ireland every year.
Everything we do is driven by IWA's vision of an Ireland where people with disabilities can enjoy equal rights, choices and opportunities and live their lives independently.
In Galway we run two day resource centres, city and county, which provide services to just over 120 service users with physical disabilities. We provide socio/recreational and educational programmes in our day resource centres and deliver these programmes in a person centred/holistic way. Our programmes are designed based on the needs of our service users who contribute to the service through consultation. Other local services include the assisted living service, independent living, sport and our motoring school.
The rationale behind this initiative is to encourage motorists to consider the consequences of using accessible parking bays when they have no valid reason to do so. It asks drivers to consider the issues drivers/passengers with limited mobility encounter on a daily basis when the misuse of accessible parking bays occurs on a daily basis and how the actions of a few have major consequences.
On the day of the campaign, a busy Friday, IWA Galway will take over ten strategically identified parking spaces (standard parking bays) using wheelchairs and other mobility aids for a short period only to demonstrate to drivers what it feels like to lose YOUR parking space and how it will impact on you!
The name of the campaign "Back in 5" originates from the throw away statement that people with disabilities hear on an all too regular basis when they confront a driver who has inadvertently parked in an accessible parking bay, "only running to the bank/shop, will be back in five minutes".
The city traffic wardens will also be supporting the initiative by checking and enforcing compliance of the use of the blue badge parking permit holders in the immediate Galway city area and outskirts on the day.
There is 125 disabled parking bays in Galway city currently.
74 tickets were issued in 2017 to people who misused disabled parking bays in Galway city.
The fine for misusing a disabled parking bay is currently €150 and increases to €225 after 28 days.
We are running this campaign in partnership with the Transport Directorate in Galway City Council, the Community Traffic Wardens, the Community Garda, other interest groups that this issue affects and our members, friends and family. We would like to especially thank the Transport Directorate in Galway City Council, the Community Garda and all involved in your full support of the campaign.