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Cllr Receives Support For Crosshaven ‘Beach Wheelchair’ Motion

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Councillor Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind) received all-round support from other local councillors at last month’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) in County Hall. The Ballygarvan resident brought forward a motion that he had originally signalled at an earlier meeting of the full council, regarding the possibility of sourcing a ‘beach wheelchair’ for either of the very popular beaches in Fountainstown or Myrtleville.

Beach wheelchairs are available with some limited access across the country, with Dublin and Wexford beaches in particular being readily equipped with the facility. In 2018, Cork County Council had indicated that they were looking to improve accessibility of their beaches in order to cater for as many people as possible, however to date only The Warren in Rosscarbery has availed of the specially designed wheelchair.

Cllr Dalton O’Sullivan is looking to change that and believes that Fountainstown or Myrtleville would be an ideal location for the Council to consider next.

“There’s a beach wheelchair down in Rosscarbery and it really is brilliant because if someone is in a wheelchair they can’t go to the beach like everyone else” he told the MD. “So I think to have something on this side of the county would be fantastic, to give people a place to go instead of having to go all the way down to Rosscarbery. I think it’s a fantastic thing and it’s something that we should be looking to push in this municipal area and I’m looking for the support of members and to see if we can look at Fountainstown and Myrtleville and get a survey.”

As mentioned, the Councillor originally tabled the motion at full council, which received a warm welcome from County Mayor, Mary Linehan-Foley, and was subsequently forwarded to the Social Inclusion Strategic Policy Committee.

In support was Cllr Marcia D’Alton, who added it offered “huge value” given our proximity to the city, noting that both beaches attracted enormous numbers of visitors from all over Cork. She also indicted that when the topic was brought up on other occasions that while funding wasn’t an issue, the provision of the wheelchair was a concern, suggesting that a local group or organisation would probably have to get involved and take some responsibility for it.

Further backing arrived from Cllrs Audrey Buckley (FF), Seámus McGrath (FF) and MD Chair, Aidan Lombard (FG).

In response, MD Officer, Noelle Desmond, said that the area office would begin the process of conducting a feasibility study and also acknowledged the point made by Cllr D’Alton, noting that a community group may need to get involved to take ownership.

Cllr Dalton O’Sullivan was delighted with the response and looks forward to hearing the report from the feasibility study.

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