McGuinness calls for beach wheelchairs to be made available in Co. Waterford

Sinn Féin area representative Conor D. McGuinness has called on the council to make beach wheelchairs available in Co. Waterford. He made the call following a meeting with the Irish Wheelchair Association and has pledged to work with the organisation to ensure beach wheelchairs are made available across Co. Waterford in time for next summer.

Conor D. McGuinness said, “the recent sunny weather has meant unprecedented use of our beaches over recent weeks. We are blessed with beautiful sea side areas, from Ardmore, to Clonea and all along our coastline.”

“The Council have done terrific work over recent years to make our beaches more accessible, with the inclusion of ramps, hand rails and other physical infrastructure. That said there is room for improvement if we want our beaches to be fully accessible. The provision of beach wheelchairs will go a long way in opening up our natural amenities to all, including those with reduced mobility.”

Both Wexford and Cork County Councils have recently announced the roll out of beach wheelchairs across a number of seaside locations and McGuinness has been in touch with councillors in both counties to discuss how they progressed the initiative in their respective areas.

The council provides lifeguard services at Ardmore, Bunmahon, Clonea, Dunmore and Tramore and it is envisaged that the wheelchairs would be provided at these five sites.

“Beach wheelchairs are specially adapted pieces of equipment that allow those with reduced mobility to gain access to sandy or stoney beaches, and to enter the sea. They are available in seaside locations across Europe and at a growing number of sites in Ireland,” he explained.

“I am calling on Waterford City and County Council to begin a consultation with the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disability Federation of Ireland with a view to having beach wheelchairs in place in time for next summer. I have worked with Tramore-based Councillor Jim Griffin and the Sinn Féin council team to have a motion on the issue submitted to the Council ahead of next month’s meeting,” he added.