Darragh Butler and Joan Lupton launch the scheme. Photo by Kevin Mcfeely

THE free beach wheelchair scheme has been expanded to include Balcarrick in Donabate.

The Waterside Hotel has agreed to manage the service on behalf of the council – bringing to three the number of locations offering the initiative.

Specialist Hippocampe Beach Wheelchairs – which are designed for ease of movement on uneven ground and sand and can be taken into the water – were last year launched at South Strand, Skerries and Velvet Strand, Portmarnock.

The news was welcomed by Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) who as mayor launched the scheme in Portmarnock last year with local woman Joan Lupton.

He said: “It was a real honour to launch this last July and I am delighted to see it being extended to Balcarrick Beach in Donabate.”

Cllr Paul Mulville (Ind) said: “I very much welcome confirmation of this. It’s great for beach users with a disability or mobility restrictions to see it coming to fruition.”

The service is free of charge but users are strongly advised to book in advance. Chairs are available from 11am to 7pm Monday to Sunday during July and August and can be booked in slots of up to four hours at a time.

To book contact: Waterside House Hotel, Donabate (01-8436153), South Strand Skerries (086-8090153), Velvet Strand Portmarnock (086-8222646).