Tara – mere mention of the place sets the senses alight. Especially if you happen to be a subject of the Royal County. From Paddy Reilly’s haunting rendition of The Harp That Once to Sean Boylan’s legendary training sessions on the Hill, a golf club that’s one of the great sporting institutions in the county and at least one farm to which yours truly will forever have a sentimental connection.
The Hill espouses a mystic lore. And for me it was always thought it would remain a mystery as it was considered highly unlikely to be a place negotiable by wheelchair. Sadly and to my utmost upset and no little embarrassment, that foreboding inclination proved to be all too accurate.
Not in the way you might imagine, however. Once Susie and I pulled into the carpark we were actually pleasantly surprised to see that there were at least a few of the trails that the wheelchair – which is as near to an ATV as such vehicles get – would have had no problem powering its way across.
The problem, however, was that to get to the trails, we’d have to get past the gates. Unbelievably, inexplicably and, yes, disgracefully, wheelchair into gate would not go. I kid you not. As pictured above, the big double gate, which we could’ve sailed through, was padlocked shut.
To compound the situation, the pedestrian gate was such a convoluted contraption that my wheels couldn’t even get through the piers thereof.
You know, initially I was sort of not that bothered by it. Indeed, as is the case when my self confidence is a little rattled, I was nearly blaming myself for not giving them prior notice of my impending arrival. Because, sadly, there are still some amenities which require advance ‘warning’ of a wheelchair en route.
What really grinded my gears, though, was reading some of the signage outside the gate highlighting what are admittedly some wonderful tourist attractions in the region. All the while enveloped in the irony that the house needs to be got in order close to home.