While in Ireland, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Irish law requires access to public buildings for persons with disabilities, and this requirement is enforced. Under Irish law, public service providers should ensure the service is accessible to those with mobility, sensory, and/or cognitive impairments. Significant changes have been made in recent years to having an accessible public transportation system. People who live in Ireland and meet the medical conditions of a disability allowance may apply for free travel passes; there is also a blind/invalidity pension from the Irish Department of Social Protection for those who qualify. The majority of buses and trains in the main city areas of Ireland are now equipped for those with limited-mobility, sight, or hearing disabilities, although some train stations and pathways may not be as easily accessible. Local authorities and commercial premises such as shopping outlets have no legal obligation to provide external disabled parking facilities for their customers; however, on-street parking, public building parking lots, and internal parking lots always have a certain number of disabled spaces available.
Mainline and suburban trains require special portable ramps to permit boarding from the platforms to the carriages. These are available at all terminal points and major junctions and stations that have staff on duty. They are also available on some trains. Travelers are advised to contact the local railway station in advance to ensure such facilities are available. The website for Dublin Bus provides information on its travel assistance scheme. Regional and intercity bus services are provided by Bus Eireann.
All service providers at state airports are required to have specific facilities for air travelers with disabilities. Air travelers are advised to notify the airline/airport authority in advance if they require any specific facilities.
There are many resources available online for those with mobility, sensory and cognitive impairments traveling to, or living in Ireland. You may contact our consular office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on this topic.