Existing Irish public buildings now subject to accessibility legislation

Government minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Government minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Public buildings which have stood in Ireland for more than ten years are now subject to greater statutory accessibility standards as section 25 of the Disability Act 2005 comes into force.

The law provides that all public buildings which were public buildings when the law was signed on 31 December 2005 must be brought into compliance with part M of the 1997 Building Regulations by 31 December 2015.

The minimum standards of accessibility already applied to new buildings, but a 10-year grace period was allocated for existing public buildings, including courthouses and government offices.

Amendments to part M in January 2012, establishing a higher standard of mandatory accessibility requirements, will become mandatory for public buildings which existed then from January 2022.

Government minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said: “This is an important milestone for people with disabilities. Access to public buildings is an important human right of every person in our society.”

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