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Trip Report Disabled Parking in Ireland

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Prior to going to Ireland on our recent four-week trip we had some concerns about the availability of disabled parking spaces there. An agreement reached within the EU in 1997 provides for all EU countries to permit US and Canadian permits to be used on a reciprocal basis but we weren’t certain that each local jurisdiction would necessarily be aware of that agreement. The good news is that in no case were we ever challenged. Also, to our good fortune, although the standards for both Ireland and Northern Ireland as regards the number of spaces required per facility might be less generous than in the US, we only found a few places where we had trouble finding parking spaces. We displayed our blue badge (the California parking placard, as it is called here) on the dash everywhere we stopped (our tour guide in Belfast advised me to put it there as opposed to hanging it from the rear view mirror as parking wardens are used to seeing it there and might not look at the mirror).

One thing we did notice was that many disabled parking spaces in Ireland in general were simply not as wide as most here at home and a lot of people using spaces adjacent to those bays seemed to park as close to the line as they could. By doing so they unintentionally made those special spots a little smaller. In my case the need to open my door fully (my left knee has limited range of motion) sometimes made for extra challenges. At least on this trip I never saw anyone park in a stall for which they did not have a permit (quite unlike here in the States and several countries we’ve been in on the Continent).

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