Lisburn-based stairlift supplier Olympic Lifts has reviewed the accessibility of over 40 of Ireland’s most visited attractions and has concluded that 40% of them are not completely wheelchair accessible.
The list of attractions comes from Fáilte Ireland’s list of most visited attractions (both free and paid) in 2017 and sees the likes of the Cliffs of Moher, Dublin Zoo, and the Book of Kells in its ranks.
Many of these tourist attractions are found in places with uneven ground and historical steps, such as Glendalough site and Blarney Castle, making them incompatible with modernization, but many others have simply not modernized their facilities to meet the needs of all visitors.
Others still only have partial accessibility, such as the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare St, which allows guests with wheelchairs and scooters to visit only one of its floors.
Michael from Olympic Lifts commented, “It is disappointing to learn that so many of these fantastic attractions have still not been updated so that wheelchair users can visit them. Some might argue that some of these older buildings cannot be made to be more accessible, but after 30 years of experience of helping people update their buildings and, in one case, a decommissioned warship, we disagree.
“Of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that 60% of these most visited attractions were fully accessible for wheelchair users, and many included additional information about guides in audio format or braille, and organized special tours for those with dementia, too.
“Lots is being done to make tourism in Ireland more accessible, and it’s encouraging to see.”
Here's a rundown of the non-wheelchair accessible and partially accessible attractions:
Non-wheelchair accessible attractions:
- Malin Head Viewing Point, Donegal
- Glendalough Site, Wicklow
- Castletown House Parklands, Kildare
- Blarney Castle & Gardens, Cork
- Kylemore Abbey & Gardens, Galway
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Partially accessible attractions:
- Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, Clare
- Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Clare
- Farmleigh, Dublin
- Brú na Boinne Newgrange, Meath
- Muckross House Gardens and Traditional Farm, Kerry
- National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare St, Dublin
- National Museum of Ireland - Natural History, Merrion St, Dublin
- Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
- Glenveagh Castle and Grounds, Donegal
- Old Jameson Distillery, Dublin
- Dublinia, Dublin
- Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre. Offaly
- Connemara National Park, Galway.
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