St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Saint Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8
Did you know that St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the largest church in Ireland? Neither did and you can learn that and so much more if you visit there. Allegedly, and I emphasise allegedly, the cathedral is adjacent to where Saint Patrick baptised converts when he visited Dublin. The cathedral is stunning on the inside and on a summer’s day, the park is a great spot to watch the world go by.
What has it got?
Seating: In the main chapel, there are standard church pews but with spaces available for wheelchair users if you are attending mass. In the Lady Chapel, there are moveable chairs.
Doors: The doors are all very wide and there are members of staff at the front door at all times.
Ground: Decadent tiles for a decadent place.
Stairs: The front entrance has steps into it but there is a staff-operated chair lift there. There are two members of staff at the front door at all times. The side entrance has a long ramp alongside a flight of steps. Inside, it is all flat and ramped where any steps are. The emergency exit is also ramped which is very good to know… In the park, one of the entrances is not wheelchair accessible but the other three entrances are either flat or ramped.
Bathrooms: They have a wheelchair bathroom beside the ladies and gents. The ramp is quite steep up to the bathrooms and you will need assistance with that. The bathroom is medium in size and may not suit larger, motorised wheechairs. However, the café outside has two very large bathrooms.
Spaciousness: The day that I visited was also the day of the DIT graduation so the place was rammed with students and family and, even at that, I didn’t feel overcrowded.
Helpfulness of Staff: The staff are incredibly helpful here and if you have any questions, they’ll definitely have all of the right answers.
Parking: Parking is…a little tricky here. It’s a very popular tourist spot so buses take up a lot of the spaces outside and the fact that it’s a city centre location means that there’s stiff competition. I couldn’t find a wheelchair parking spot in the area but there is plenty of street parking on St. Patrick’s Close, Hanover Lane and John Dillon Street.
Why did it lose points? Saint Patrick’s Cathedral lost half a point because the ramp up to the bathrooms is so steep and the wheelchair bathroom could be tight for larger wheelchairs. For a building that is over 800 years old, the work that they have done to make it accessible is excellent so it’s a pity that they couldn’t get it perfect. That being said, the café outside has massive, accessible bathrooms so not all is lost. It’s also worth noting that visitors in wheelchairs can have free entry, if they wish.