Tuesday 16 July 2019

'It's devastating': Paralympian told guide dog not allowed in hotel

Policy: Victoria Nolan was told her dog was not allowed in the hotel – but the hotel later said she had been told this in error
Policy: Victoria Nolan was told her dog was not allowed in the hotel – but the hotel later said she had been told this in error
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A Canadian Paralympian who went blind after giving birth to her second child has spoken of her "bitter disappointment" after a Dublin hotel said it could not accommodate a guide dog.

Victoria Nolan regularly travels to Ireland with her husband Eamonn Nolan and booked three nights for a holiday at the end of June.

Mr Nolan contacted Dublin Central Suites on Gardiner Street to notify them that his wife was visually impaired and would be travelling with her guide dog, Alan.

The hotel replied saying that following a discussion with management, "unfortunately we cannot accept guide dogs in the hotel as per hotel policy, dogs are not permitted in the property".

The couple said they have never experienced a hotel refusing to allow a guide dog.

"No blind person should ever have to put up with this," Mr Nolan told the Irish Independent.

Ms Nolan, a medal-winning Paralympic rower, has previously had negative experiences with taxis refusing to allow her to travel in Canada.

Mr Nolan said his family had always felt extremely welcome in Ireland, but said it was devastating for his wife when setbacks like this happened.

"We're not looking for sympathy, but when Vicky first went blind, she would barely leave the house, let alone go travelling the world, but when someone says no, it is devastating... it's not easy."

A spokesperson for Dublin Central Suites said there had been a "misunderstanding".

"We can confirm that guide dogs are an exception to our no-pet policy. Initially, due to a misunderstanding between the reception staff and management, incorrect information was given to Mr Nolan, for which we have already apologised," they said.

"We are happy to accommodate their needs in any way we can."

Irish Independent

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