Council Refuse to Let Mother of Baby With Down’s Syndrome Change in Leisure Centre

A local mother was refused the opportunity to change her baby in Newry Leisure Centre prompting the lady to change her baby on a bench outside the facility.

Jude and Julie Rooney had taken their children to Jennings Park to play when Mrs. Rooney had indicated to her husband that their little baby Ryan who lives with Down’s Syndrome and suffers from a bowel condition called Hirschsprung disease needed to be changed.

Mrs Rooney along with her daughter quickly went to Newry Leisure Centre which is adjacent to Jennings Park. Julie politely asked Newry Leisure Centre staff could she please use the toilet facilities to change her baby. Mrs Rooney has said that they were told “no” by staff and that the facility was closing. Mrs Rooney and her daughter were then forced to change baby Ryan outside the facility on a bench in full view of the public.

Speaking to Clanyre News and Sport Mrs. Rooney said:

“All we wanted to do was quickly use the facilities to change the baby as he had gone to the toilet in his nappy. We thought the staff at the leisure centre wouldn’t mind since it was only a little baby but unfortunately we were told no and had to change the wee man outside on a bench.”

“I’m absolutely disgusted in our Council we didn’t mean any harm, they have let us down. We have made a formal complaint to the Council but received no word yet.”

We asked Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for a comment and to date we have received no response.


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