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Ireland with a disabled child?


Hi all,


I have another question maybe some can help me with.  We'll be traveling to Ireland next summer with our 7 year old son, who has cerebral palsy.  He walks with crutches, and can take stairs (slowly).  He can handle a 10 - 15 minute walk, but for longer distances we need his stroller.  Will we have trouble getting around in Ireland?  Or are many places handicapped accessible?  We plan to spend most of our time in the West, either in County Kerry or Cork, and we'd like to spend time on the beaches.  Does anyone know if the beaches are especially rocky?  My son can't make it easily over uneven, rocky ground, but a sandy beach is a lot of fun for us all.  Any other tips for getting around?


Thanks,


Wendy



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Wendy,


I just answered your other questions (before you registered) and see that you will be visiting Ireland in the summer season. Generally, Ireland is not very disabled friendly. Many towns have rough, uneven, narrow sidewalks. Many restaurants and pubs have toilets that are either up a flight of stairs or down a flight. Sightseeing like castles, etc. generally means encountering lots of steps. Ireland is trying to update things in this area but it is very slow going.


If you have a handicapped placard (with the wheelchair symbol on it) for your car, take that to Ireland with you. It can be used in Ireland for parking but should be placed on your dashboard not hung from the mirror. Some parking lots will even give you free parking but check in advance when entering. There is more info on my "Tips & Tricks" page, which you can access by clicking on the IrelandYes Index.


Some beaches are rocky but there are some lovely, sandy beaches on the Ring of Kerry. Nice beaches at Balllinskelligs, near Waterville and near Caherdaniel. Rossbeigh Strand near Glenbeigh is a storm beach with huge boulders to scramble over, so is not suitable.


I think that your trip will be a challenge but with help your son will be able to enjoy Ireland. You will want to be sure your self-catering cottage has a bedroom on the ground floor. The "first floor" in Ireland means the second floor!


Michele



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Anonymous

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We are headed to Ireland over the week of Thanksgiving. (Two months from today, actually!  We will return home on Saturday, Nov 26th)  We are going to be traveling with my Grandfather who is quite elderly and uses a walker mostly, but I figure we'll be using a wheelchair for most of our trip.   Since we are making a 7 day southern-Ireland loop, we have rented a mini-van so we have room for all of us and his wheelchair and walker.   I'm sure it won't be a Grand Caravan though, so I hope we all fit.   I'll let you know how it goes with the whole situation ... parking, sightseeing, main floor rooms, etc.  -krysjohn

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