“As a parent of primary school children myself, I know it can be incredibly hard for families to make alternative arrangements for school closures and it often means having to pay for childcare.”

Social Democrats local election candidate for Rathfarnham-Templeogue, Carly Bailey, has called on the Government to consider using alternative accessible venues to schools as polling stations.

Ms Bailey said:

“More than 336,00 students attend schools which are scheduled to be used as polling stations for Friday’s elections. According to Department of Education figures, 1,890 out of over 3,100 primary schools nationwide – over 60 per cent of the total – are likely to be closed on Friday. A small number of post primary schools and schools for children with special needs are also affected.

“As a parent of primary school children myself, I know it can be incredibly hard for families to make alternative arrangements for school closures and it often means having to pay for childcare. For children with additional needs in particular, the disruption to school days is something we should be trying to minimise.

“Of course it’s crucial that all voters have convenient local polling stations that are accessible to people with disabilities. But given the number of elections and referendums held on a regular basis, it’s time for serious consideration to using other accessible locations, such as community centres and sports halls, as polling stations where practicable.”

ENDS

22nd May 2019