For travelers with disabilities, Ireland is a mixed bag. Its modern buildings and cities are generally accessible, but many of its buildings are historic, and those often lack wheelchair access. Trains can be accessed by wheelchairs but only with assistance. If you plan to travel by train in Ireland, be sure to check out Iarnród Éireann's website (www.irishrail.ie), which includes services for travelers with disabilities. A mobility-impaired liaison officer (tel. 01/703-3299) can arrange assistance for travelers with disabilities if given 24-hour notice prior to the departure time.
If you're conducting research prior to your trip, one of the best Irish-based online resources is www.disability.ie.
For advice on travel to Northern Ireland, contact Disability Action, Portside Business Park, 189 Airport Rd. W., Belfast BT3 9ED (tel. 028/9029-7880; www.disabilityaction.org). The Northern Ireland Tourist Board also publishes a helpful annual Information Guide to Accessible Accommodation, available from any of its offices worldwide.
Finding accessible lodging can be tricky in Ireland. Many of the buildings here are hundreds of years old, and older hotels, small guesthouses, and landmark buildings still have steps outside and in. The National Rehabilitation Board of Ireland, 24-25 Clyde Rd., Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 (tel. 01/608-0400), publishes several guides to accessible guesthouses, the best of which is Guide to Accessible Accommodation in Ireland).
Many travel agencies offer customized tours and itineraries for travelers with disabilities. Among them are Flying Wheels Travel (tel. 507/451-5005; www.flyingwheelstravel.com), Access-Able Travel Source (tel. 303/232-2979; www.access-able.com), and Accessible Journeys (tel. 800/846-4537 or 610/521-0339; www.disabilitytravel.com).