In Ireland sunny days are few and far between so when they happen we know we need to seize the opportunity and head to the beach with the masses. But, if you have ever tried visiting the beach in a wheelchair you know that sand and wheels do not mix. Beach wheelchairs allow people of all ages and abilities to have easier access to and enjoy our beaches. The beach wheelchair’s specially designed wheels allow it to travel across sandy beaches with ease and provides an opportunity for people with disabilities or mobility issues to enjoy what most people take for granted – a day at the beach and a dip in the sea.
So we know beach wheelchairs help wheelchair users to access our lovely beaches but which beaches have this facility and how to avail of it. A beach wheelchair service is currently available at 14 beaches located in four counties. Wexford County Council was the first local authority to introduce beach wheelchairs and is to be commended for their initiative to make their beaches more accessible. Wexford’s beach wheelchair service is currently provided at six of their beaches: Carne, Curracloe (White Gap), Morriscastle, Rosslare, Courtown (North Beach) and Duncannon, and there are plans to extend the service to Kilmore Quay.
Three other local authorities, Kerry County Council, Fingal County Council and Donegal County Council, have also taken the initiative. Beach wheelchairs are available at Baile an Sceilg, Ballyheigue and Maharabeg in Kerry, at Portmarnock Velvet Strand Beach and Skerries South Beach in Fingal, Dublin and at Rathmullan, Downings and Carrickfinn in Donegal.
While the beach wheelchair service provided at these beaches is free of charge, to avoid disappointment, it is best that you book in advance. To ensure an enjoyable and safe experience terms & conditions apply to the use of the beach wheelchairs. We call on other local authorities around Ireland to join this initiative to help wheelchair users have access to more of our lovely beaches so they and their families can enjoy many days out at the seaside.
Kerry – website details on the way.