is reader-funded journalism. To keep it going and free-to-view, it takes people like you to act now and subscribe today for €5, €10, or €20 per month.

Children seeking safe cycle lanes is “tiered of ableism hiding behind other policy” claims member of Dublin City’s transport committee

A non-elected member of Dublin City Council’s transport committee, Gary Kearney, has said that children looking for safe cycle routes to school is an example of “ableism hiding behind other policy”.

Kearney is a disability advocate who has opposed a large number of pedestrian and cycling projects. understands Kearney has been a key part of fueling scaremongering of cycling among disability groups. This has, at least partly, led to the groups pushing transport authorities to be relucent to or refuse to use standard cycle route designs and to plan for restrictive design measures on cycle paths for which there is no equivalent for motorists.

While Kearney talks up the dangers of cycling, he is often dismissive of the dangers caused by motorists.

When Galway TD Ciarán Cannon talked to the after being injured when he was knocked off his bicycle by a motorist, in the comment section of the article, Kerney wrote: “A story from a rabid cyclist who hates motor vehicles and refuses to wear the RSA approved safety gear. Hobble on.”

In their letter to politicians, Limerick School Project National School third-class children wrote: “We are writing this letter to you because it has come to our attention that there are not any cycle lanes around our school.”

“We took a survey of traffic outside our school. Only four cyclists passed our school in ten minutes. One hundred and seventy three vehicles passed in this time. Currently, only three people in our class cycle to school. Our survey indicated that eleven pupils would cycle if there were proper cycle lanes around our school. At the moment, those pupils feel unsafe because it is dangerous,” the children said.

They added: “We would like to see more cyclists travelling to our school and to other schools nearby. What will you do to help us solve this problem? We urge you to help us and other people cycle more safely and reduce carbon emissions.”

Cllr Elisa O’Donovan (independent) tweeted the letter and said: “I received this letter from the students of 3rd class in the Limerick School Project. They undertook a traffic survey where 4 cyclists and 173 vehicles passed their school in 10 mins. This letter makes me ashamed as a public rep for letting down our young people and their future.”

But Kearney, in reply, called this a “tiered of ableism hiding behind other policy”.

You're read this much of the article... So, if you value our journalism, please subscribe today for €5, €10, or €20 per month.

He said: “How about the children who cannot cycle or the parent that must use a vehicle to bring their children to school. Does the UNCRPD not count anymore or the goals in the UNSDG be totally ignored which mention disability inclusion. Tiered of ableism hiding behind other policy.”

Kearney has also defended kissing gate barriers on cycle routes and in parks because they block bicycles, despite the barriers blocking people with disabilities, including hand cycle users, users of other adopted cycles and mobility devices.

He has claimed in the transport committee and continuously online that there are alternative barriers that work without blocking people with disabilities, but there are none that are practical for use on public cycle routes.

Kearney puts a large focus on the dangers of cyclists and scooters, while he has defended illegal parking on footpaths despite its effect on disabled people.

On parking on footpaths, he told that enforcement of illegal parking would “causes resentment” and that “The last thing you want is the disability community resented by people on top of everything else.”

He added: “The goal is to get nobody parking on the footpath, but I don’t think that’s feasible in the foreseeable future.”

On Twitter, when he was shown a video of motorists driving on a footpath in Galway being used by school children, he said: “Potential as they are usually either stopped or moving slowly and tiny distances. Cyclists however travel longer distances and at higher speeds. Most motor vehicles will pull onto a footpath and park. Cyclists travel on the footpath instead of the road and cycle lanes at times.”

IMAGE: A screenshot of Kearney’s comment on the when Deputy Cannon was injured. is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

Subscription drive update: reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October).

If you can help push above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!

Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.

*** is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.

I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via

Cian Ginty

1 comment

  1. He has also attacked others online. A member of Dublin Commuter Coalition was also the recipient of his vitriol.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.