Claycastle and Front Strand Youghal may soon be Accessible for all Wheelchair Users

By Seamus Whelehan

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Dave Campbell with Sarah Jane Sinnott and Margaret Kennedy Cork County Council

Specialised beach wheelchairs which would help people with a disability have access to the beach, could be brought to East Cork. Cork County Council, following a successful pilot scheme, want to make the County’s beaches more accessible to people in wheelchairs. They say both Claycastle and the Front Strand Youghal could work as a suitable location for the Hippo Campe beach wheelchair.
On Monday the Authority Director of Services, Municipal Districts and Rural Development, Mary Ryan, said the extension of the beach wheelchair initiative would be a significant step in service provision for people with a disability. “While not all beaches are suitable, there are many in County Cork that would be a viable option” said Ms Ryan.
In August 2018 the Authority’s first beach wheelchair was successfully introduced at the Warren Rosscarbery. The chair has thick, off road tyres and rust free components, which allow them to be used on the beach. The hyper-combi chair can glide across soft sand, is easily wheeled across rough terrain and is designed to float in the sea.
This week the Council said it was looking to extend the initiative to a number of popular beaches around the County following the huge success of the Warren project. Within a four week period the chair was used on 15 occasions during that period. At present the Authority is undertaking a survey of beaches to determine if their facilities, including its beaches, are accessible to all.
In the meantime the beach wheelchair will return to the Warren from June for the duration of the bathing season. The chair can be booked for one hour slots, free of charge, from 11:00am to 5:00pm through Rosscarbery Pitch and Putt Club on 087-6602949 or 087-2186529.

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