CAMPAIGN Mick Higgins and his daughter, Emma, walking up Castlebar Street in Westport.
THE father of a visually impaired woman says he would like to blindfold businesspeople who continue to place sandwich- board advertisements on footpaths in the town to see how they would deal with them if they could not see.
Last month, Westport man Mick Higgins threatened to remove every sandwich board and any other obstructive retail sign and product placed on footpaths around Westport because they are an obstacle to his blind daughter and other people with disabilities.
The former Westport and Mayo footballer told The Mayo News that since then nothing has been done about it and he has got no co-operation from the businesses involved or the county council. He called on businesses to remove the signs from the streets, saying he will take action if they do not.
“Nothing has happened since I spoke out against the number of sandwich boards being placed out on the footpaths of this town. Some were taken off for about a week but they have been put out again and it is worse than ever. I am angry and frustrated that nothing is happening. It has got to a stage where people seem not to care who they obstruct on the street. I said I will take every sandwich board off the footpaths and I mean it. I have been warned not to do it, but I will and I don’t care if I do go to jail,” he warned.
Blind from birth
Mick’s 29-year-old daughter Emma has been blind from birth and he says that every time she goes for a walk around the town, he has to keep moving the boards and other items out of her way.
“I am threatening to do this because it affects my daughter but it also affects other people with disabilities. People in wheelchairs have to go around these signs and people seem to think that is okay. I’d like to blindfold these businessespeople and councillors and see how they would manage around the town without their sight. They’d be soon bumping into their own signs,” he said.
Mick said he received a lot of support from the general public when he spoke out last month but he is critical of the lack of action from local councillors.
“People have been saying I was dead right and I should be standing up for my daughter. The councillors know this but not one came to see me or say anything about the situation or how to solve the problem. It is disappointing that they are doing nothing about this problem,” he said.