Census 2016 shows that nearly a third of people are disabled in some parts of Limerick. Recently released figures show the number of people registered as disabled by electoral ward and includes details on the type of disability suffered.
In Limerick city and suburbs, the total number of disabled people stands at 15,228. This represents 16.1 percent of the population. The national rate is 13.5 percent. The number of respondents in Limerick city and county who said they had difficulty working or attending school stood at 10,213, the number who had difficulty dressing, bathing or getting around inside the home was 6,814, while those with intellectual disabilities numbered 3,272
When the numbers are broken down by electoral ward, the numbers are more striking. In some parts of the inner city, nearly one third of Census respondents reported being disabled. In the Glentworth A ward, near Colbert Station, 31 percent of people are disabled. In neighbouring Glentworth B, the rate was 29.3 percent. The areas around Prospect, Ballincurra and O’Connell Avenue showed lower rates, but still came in at more than 20 percent.
The new figures also analysed the number of carers in the country and they highlighted the large number of unpaid hours worked by carers. The CSO also noted the large number of carers under 15-years-old.
In Limerick city and county, there were 8,476 carers in the 2016 Census. While most of these worked 1 to 14 hours unpaid work per week, those working for 43 hours or more numbered 1,921, while 1,034 did not state the number of hours. Carers worked 305,054 hours unpaid last year.
The gender divide among Limerick’s carers was stark, with 5,152 female carers compared to 3,324 male carers. The largest groups of male and female carers 1 to 14 hours, but 1,290 female carers worked 43 hours or more per week, compared to 631 male carers.
The new data showed that 5,145 people with a disability in Limerick are working, the majority of these (2,7840) are male. Disabled people in work were the minority, however, as 6,899 people were unable to work due to permanent sickness or disability. Of these, the majority were female, though the difference was just 57 people.
When asked about their general state of health, 110,934 people in Limerick city and county rated their health ‘very good,’ while 56,865 said their health was ‘good.’ Just 3642 people rated their health as ‘very bad’ or ‘bad,’ while 17,003 people responded that it was ‘fair.’ These numbers may not reflect the true state of health in Limerick, however. The number of people refusing to answer the question was 6,455.