5 May 2021
By Mery Bermingham
Clonakilty Access Group, which campaigns for enhanced facilities and infrastructure in public places for people with physical disabilities, has commended the Clonakilty Camogie Club whose members have decided to undertake an online fundraising initiative to provide a beach wheelchair at Inchydoney.
Physical access to most beaches is a huge challenge if not impossible for most wheelchair-users. Narrow wheels on wheelchairs, even with strong people pushing or propelling them means they sink in the soft sand.
In the whole of County Cork, there is just one special Beach Wheelchair, based at The Warren, Rosscarbery. The beach wheelchairs have wide tyres and specifically designed for beaches and soft surfaces, enabling people unable to walk or use a standard wheelchair to access the sandy beaches and also enter the sea itself if they wish to.
Since its introduction a couple of years ago at The Warren, the one there has proven to be very popular and well used.
Clonakilty Access Group has called on the County Council in the past to make these special wheelchairs available at all popular beaches so that people with physical disabilities can enjoy the beaches and the seawater in the same way as able-bodied people. The beach wheelchair at The Warren, is particularly popular and in much demand by children and younger people.
A member of the Clonakilty Access Group said:
“We want to salute the awareness of the young women and girls of Clonakilty Camogie Club in identifying the need for a Beach Wheelchair at Inchydoney – often hailed as one of Irelands most popular beaches. This facility is badly needed there and we commend the club members on not just identifying the need, but actually taking action themselves to make it a reality at Inchydoney. Even though they’ve already raised more than half of the €5,000 target in the first couple of weeks, we encourage everyone who can to support the Go Fund Me page. Well done Clonakilty Junior and Intermediate Camogie Club members”.