Q & A: Irish Airports, Pets, and Wheelchairs

suitcasedogWe asked our Twitter and Facebook friends to send us a few questions about Irish Travel. Here are three we thought we’d tackle today.

Can one travel from the USA to Ireland with their small dog? – Michelle Wentling via Facebook

You might be surprised to hear the answer is YES; you can bring your dog to Ireland. You’ll have to work with your veterinarian to get the equivalent of a Doggie Passport and work out your transportation details.

Questions about the procedure are available at Bringing Pets to Ireland. Additional reading comes from Bernd Biege.

Would you recommend flying in to Dublin or Shannon? Jessica Smith Mullins via Facebook

If I had my druthers, most tourists would arrive via Shannon Airport. It’s probably the easiest transatlantic airport in Europe, the surrounding road system is generally easier to maneuver than Dublin, there are a lot fantastic sites nearby, and did I mention it’s probably the easiest transatlantic airport in Europe?

I have not experienced Dublin’s new Terminal 2 yet, but I still think I’d choose Shannon.

Sadly, flights in and out of Shannon have been a casualty of the economic downturn. My advice… if you are traveling from an area with access to Shannon, or you can route layovers through cities with direct flights to Shannon, definitely go to Ireland’s West Coast airport. If your itinerary revolves around Dublin, the east coast, or parts of Northern Ireland, Dublin is your best bet.

Also, consider arranging your itinerary to fly into one airport and out of another. Then, you’ll get to experience both.

I am wheelchair dependent. How accessible is Ireland? Are there any tours for wheelchair dependent people? – Katharine Mulvaney via Twitter

Dr Jessie Voigts recently touched on this topic in her post about Disability Access in Ireland. From her experience and my own observations, larger shops, hotels, attractions, and even B&Bs do an average or better job of accommodating people with disabilities. However, restaurants, small shops, and towns with narrow sidewalks prove to be subpar.

Accommodations tend to be straight forward about their accessibility. Once you find a hotel or B&B that suits your needs, the proprietors are often quite helpful in making additional recommendations. You may find this list of Wheelchair-Friendly Hotels helpful, and don’t shy away from contacting B&Bs and inquiring about their accessibility as well.

As for tour companies, Pat Preston at www.IrelandExpert.com recommends Undiscovered Britain and Ireland. Further reading at www.disaboom.com.


Do you have more questions?
Michele Erdvig and her online community at the www.IrelandYes.com Q&A Forum are always eager to share their Irish travel knowledge.

.More Q & A >>

Photo by Amber Lowry via Flick Creative Commons – https://www.flickr.com/photos/amberhenley/8388699292

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Author: Corey

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  1. I adore you Irish Fireside.. You are always so darn helpful. I am very glad I found you & added you as a friend to my FB network. I refer ALOT of my friends to you whenever they have questions I can not answer.
    I hope you are around for a very long time.

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  2. Since its inception, I’ve found Irish Fireside to be one of the better sights to have info from. They do not post too many times daily and all their information is family friendly and extremely informative; it is full of wise advice and it is a fun sight to be connected with. Thank you Irish Fireside for the work you do to make our overseas travel more enjoyable!

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  3. My goodness. I didn’t expect an Irish Fireside “love fest” this morning, but we’ll take it… it’s always nice to hear compliments.

    We’re doing what we love… and plan to keep doing it as long as we can.

    Thanks for being an active part of our little online community.

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  4. Just back from 13 days in Ireland – the new Terminal 2 in Dublin is a great improvement over departure trauma. I prefer flying into Dublin or at least ending up there since I always stay over at least 3 nights after the tour people have gone home. My time to do what I want, when I want. Just an FYI – at present Continental also flies to Belfast non-stop from Newark. We did this last year – flew into Belfast, stayed 3 nights, then took train down to Dublin (also a nice experience) to connect with the tour. At present I am listening to the beautiful tenor voice of Frank Patterson and trying to imagine I am still in Ireland.

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  5. I completely agree with your assessment of Shannon airport. But far an easier and quicker experience, especially when you arrive. And so much easier to navigate the roads when you are first driving on the left.
    I imagine we’ll fly in to Dublin this fall; Shannon seems to be used more in the summer.

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  6. I flew into Shannon. I liked the fact that there was a nice hotel across the parking lot so that I could sleep off my jet lag. To me, smaller airports are always easier to navigate around.

    And yes, I love you Irish Fireside guys, too :-)

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  7. love these resources – and how open you are to answering questions and sharing expertise!

    we flew into shannon – it was SO easy. highly recommended!

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  8. Although I think most of us prefer Shannon, it seems there are few flights that you into there anymore. That would be great if direct flights began to go there again, but until then often Dublin is the only choice.

    The Shannon airport is wonderful — if you can get there.

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  9. I prefer Dublin. I am most often taking the bus to north, west, or midlands, and can catch most routes straight from the airport without going into the city. I’ve spent so much time there over the years it’s like a second home. for me, Dublin is easy to navigate, both T1 and the new T2 (spent an overnight in T2 about two days after it opened, plenty of time to explore). I’m curious, though, if the pre clearance for US customs in T2 is working smoothly in busy times.

    I tend to avoid Belfast because of (at the moment anyway) higher taxes on airfares in the UK than the republic. also, it’s worth nothing thta when flying from elsewhere in Europe, the smaller airports in Ireland are sometimes a possibility.

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  10. If you want reality from a man permanently using a wheelchair who has lived in Ireland all his life allow me to impart it to you without the nice sprinkling of frosting or sugar. Ireland IS NOT WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. Although THERE ARE “POCKETS” OF WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY which can and will be found in most counties in Ireland, these pockets are few and far between and trust me you will spend many long hours searching. As i have previously stated in another post, the building regulations in Ireland are SO DRACONIAN THEY ARE EMBARRASSING and the AFFECTED PEOPLE (Irish people in wheelchairs) themselves do nothing about it while relying on various charity organizations to speak on their behalf which i find very deeply pathetic – you may disagree as is your right to do so. As well as the previously mentioned ATROCIOUS WHEELCHAIR ACCESS IN IRELAND i would be remiss not to advise you that – due to the lack of daily social interaction between able-bodied people and people with physical disabilities due to the almost non-existant wheelchair access, please prepare yourself for rather awkward and paternalistic/maternaistic exchanges with Irish people on First Contact. You will probably find that if you are accompanied by an able-bodied partner the Irish stranger will address the able-bodied person in regards to you rather than addressing you directly – or if they do address you, they will do so in a patronizing – child-like manner as if they were addressing somebody much younger than you are – you may have experienced this before, you may not – In Ireland trust me you will experience this many many times over. It is excruciatingly humiliating but not done out of maiice – they genuinely don’t know any other way to act around you. Most if not all of what i have told you, you may have already experienced already to some degree – if not enjoy your stay in the Emerald Isle.

    You may not be back.


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