Galway County Council is reviewing access to a polling station in Ballinasloe town amid concerns about accessibility. Councillor Aisling Dolan, who is the Fine Gael election candidate for Roscommon – Galway has raised the matter with staff working in the Municipal District offices in Ballinasloe.
Works as part of Ballinasloe Town Enhancement are currently underway and when complete in May of this year, will make Ballinasloe one of the newest towns in the country in terms of streetscape and infrastructure. Currently parts of Society Street have been cordoned off with fencing for pipe-laying work. As a result, there is no parking available on either side of the street and it may be more difficult for some voters to gain access to the polling station at St. Grellan’s Scoil an Chroi Naofa.
“I've spoken to Senior Executive Engineer at Ballinasloe Municipal District, Enda Mulryan, who has noted that work will be reduced at Sarsfields Road to reduce the length of time at the traffic lights at the corner junction. The contractors carrying out the work will have 2 people on site to assist with entry and exit to the polling station at St Grellan's. It will be possible to let people with mobility difficulties out at the pedestrian crossing close to Scoil an Chroi Naofa on Society Street, to ensure older members of our community have more ease of access if needed. There is wheelchair access along the footpath from the old library carpark, also a carpark at Barrett’s and space near The Emerald Ballroom for parking.
“I’m really encouraging everyone to exercise their right to vote on Saturday February 8th. Also check in with elderly neighbours to see if they need a lift or would like to carpool. Your polling station should be stated on your polling card which you should take with you to the ballot box. The polls open at 7a.m on Saturday and will close at 10p.m and both Roscommon and Galway County Council websites have a list of polling stations,” says Councillor Dolan.