New beach wheelchair now in Bundoran in time for summer in Donegal

A new beach wheelchair service has been added to Bundoran’s Blue Flag Main Beach this season.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 6:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 6:14 pm

The wheelchair which has been modified for use on soft sandy surfaces has been provided by Donegal County Council and will be available for booking on a daily basis throughout the summer season.

The wheelchair will be available for people with mobility restrictions to take out for a few hours and experience the beach during this summer season.

Commenting at the launch, Councillor Micheal McMahon said: “We are delighted to see this beach wheelchair on Main Beach for the summer season in 2022 and we hope to see many people and families using this important piece of equipment across the next few months. Having another beach with wheelchair availability is one of many steps we are taking to ramp up the inclusivity effort of Donegal County Council. I would like to thank Donegal County Council for providing it and the team at the Salty Shell for storing it.”

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L-R John O’Connell (Chair Discover Bundoran), Michael & Geraldine Patton (Salty Shell), Cllr Micheal McMahon, David Friel (Donegal County Council), Jamie Gallagher with his mother Anne (seated), Cllr Barry Sweeny, Cllr Niamh Kennedy, Lifeguards Odhran McGarrigle, Joe Danagher and Callum McKinney.

David Friel, Coastal Officer with Donegal County Council explained that “the Hippocampe wheelchair allows users to fully explore the beach. Its design means that it can travel over softer sand and in to the water areas where wheelchair users would have been reluctant to take their own chair. This means that wheelchair users or those with mobility issues can now fully enjoy the beach and its environment”.

He also acknowledged the important role played by everyone in securing these beach wheelchairs saying: “I hope we can identify further partners at other beach locations to allow further roll-out of this very welcome and valuable service. I’d especially like to thank the Salty Shell, for facilitating the beach wheelchair here at Bundoran beach and hope it is used and enjoyed for years to come”.

Bundoran Tourism Officer Shane Smyth added ‘it is wonderful to see this service now in place at Main Beach and we’re delighted to have it to offer those with mobility impairments. It is so important for our beach to be accessible to all and we’re glad to have been able to take this vital step for this season. Bundoran is now the 8th beach in the county to have this facility’.

The beach wheelchair must be requested in advance and can be done so by calling the Salty Shell Café on +353 87 123 7779, who will then confirm the booking and times etc.

Bundoran beach.

Including the new Bundoran wheelchair, Donegal County Council also has beach wheelchairs available for use at:

Rathmullan - Rathmullan Beach in association with Rathmullan Sailing & Watersports School. Contact: [email protected] or phone Aengus at 086 8123019.

Downings - Downings Beach in association with Downings Tidy Towns. Contact: 087 6152351

Carrickfinn - Contact: Donegal Airport at 074 95 48284

Bundoran by night.

Marblehill - Contact: Shandon Hotel at 074 91 36137

Rossnowlagh - Contact: Rossnowlagh Beach wheelchair is available from the Sandhouse Hotel and Marine Spa. Tel: +353 (0) 71 9851777 or email [email protected]

Narin - Contact: Mary Nicholson at 074 9545216.

Fintra - For all booking enquiries for Fintra Beach Wheelchair contact Kevin Kilgunn on 087 2362607.