Mayo County Council are pleased to announce the roll out of 4 new all-terrain beach wheelchairs and wheelchair friendly beach mats which will greatly enhance accessibility on several Mayo Blue Flag Beaches. This equipment will be shared between participating Blue Flag Beaches according to daily demand.
Funding for this initiative was made available under the Disability Participation and Awareness Fund 2021.
In terms of overall coordination of the beach wheelchairs at specific Beaches, Mayo County Council will collaborate with local destination groups for the respective areas to put in place a booking and management system for the use of the equipment. A partnership already exists for the management of a Beach Wheelchair on Keel Beach on Achill Island. Achill Tourism are the local group who oversees the day to day management and operation of same. Contact details are promoted and are widely available to allow potential users to make a booking.
Chris McCarthy, Manager, Achill Tourism welcomed the initiative, saying, “we’re absolutely delighted to be able to make more of our blue flag beaches more accessible to everyone, the provision of the beach wheelchairs is free and a straightforward service, you simply contact ourselves to make the booking and then we liaise with the lifeguard on the beach to have it ready for your use.“
Deirdre Finnerty, Senior Executive Officer, Community & Integrated Development, Mayo County Council, said, “Mayo County Council is delighted to work with the local communities to put in place practical changes to make beaches in Mayo more accessible for people living with a disability. This upgrading of facilities removes barriers to accessing the designated beaches and has been made possible through the generous support of the Disability Participation and Awareness fund for 2021.”
Anna Connor, Tourism Development Officer, Mayo County Council, said, “the new beach wheelchairs and mobility mats will ensure that Mayo beaches are more accessible, welcoming and inclusive for people of all abilities. We are committed to delivering user-friendly services for all who live in or visit Mayo and are very pleased to have received Disability Participation and Awareness funding for the purchase of this equipment.”
Patricia Flynn, A/Water Safety Development Officer, Mayo County Council said, “the Beach Lifeguards and I are committed to supporting the facilitation of Beach Wheelchairs at our designated beaches. We are delighted to assist our colleagues in our Tourism, Recreation and Amenity Department in setting up and providing this much needed service for the 2022 Bathing Season.”
Ray McNamara, Sports Inclusion Development Officer, Mayo Sports Partnership – said, “Mayo Sports Partnership are delighted that the new fleet of all-terrain beach wheelchairs and wheelchair friendly beach mats are now available to offer and add to the existing beach wheelchair which was launched last year on keel beach as part of Mayo Sports Partnerships Sports Ability Week. This equipment offers opportunities for people of varying abilities to access our greatest natural asset here in mayo and experience the fantastic outdoor amenities that are available in Mayo.”
Source: Mayo County Council