Criticism for Games organisers after disabled youngster is refused access to toilet

ANGRY: Paul with grandson Allan.
ANGRY: Paul with grandson Allan.

A Motherwell grandfather has slammed organisers of the Commonwealth Games events at Strathclyde Park after his disabled grandson was refused access to a toilet - and subsequently wet himself.

Paul Gabbitas had taken his seven-year-old grandson, Allan Ramsay, to the park on Thursday (July 17) for a walk when the young boy indicated that he needed the toilet.

Having used the facilities at the boathouse on previous occasions, they headed there only to be told they weren’t available.

Paul explained: “My grandson has severe learning difficulties and is autistic, and can only say six words or so. He can indicate that he needs the toilet but not specify what he needs, so when he said he needed to go, we quickly headed to the boathouse.

“However, we were told by the security man on the gate that the nearest facilities available to us were on the other side of the water, at the sandy area.

“I explained that he was disabled and even asked about the temporary ones, but was told they were also not available. “I asked, ‘what is he supposed to do, go in the street?’, and the reply was that he could do it in the bushes, which is disgusting. He wet himself before we could get to the nearest toilets.”

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council explained that Glasgow 2014 is currently responsible for activities in the area.

He said: “The Watersports Centre and its facilities are under the control of Glasgow 2014 to allow preparations for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“There are other toilets within the park and we would have expected people to have been directed to these nearby facilities.

“We will be having further dialogue with the Games organisers to ensure visitors to the park are directed appropriately.”

A Glasgow 2014 spokesperson said: “Temporary changes are now place across all Games venues and in many cases they operate differently from what people are familiar with.

“Glasgow 2014 has been working in conjunction with North Lanarkshire Council to communicate key dates when the Watersports Centre would be unavailable and to minimise disruption where possible. We regret any distress caused.”