Call for leg­is­la­tion change af­ter rul­ing

COUN­CIL­LOR WANTS PRO­TEC­TION FOR LANDOWN­ERS AF­TER WICK­LOW WAY CASE

Bray People - - NEWS -

one of the old rail­way sleep­ers that made up a board­walk just be­low the JB Malone me­mo­rial on the Sally Gap to Djouce trail near Round­wood.

Re­act­ing to the High Court de­ci­sion, Charlotte Rose­mond, Act­ing Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer for Wick­low Up­lands Coun­cil, said; ‘Wick­low Up­lands Coun­cil has worked tire­lessly for the last 20 years in fos­ter­ing good re­la­tions be­tween landown­ers and recre­ational users of the up­lands, de­vel­op­ing sus­tain­able recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties and es­tab­lish­ing agreed ac­cess routes across pri­vate lands.

‘ This case has gen­er­ated huge in­ter­est and im­por­tantly recre­ational users and the wider pub­lic have huge shown huge sup­port for farm­ers, landown­ers and fam­i­lies who de­pend on tourism.

‘ The Wick­low Up­lands are a phe­nom­e­nal recre­ation area for thou­sands of ci­ti­zens. The Wick­low Way in par­tic­u­lar is a world-renowned tourist at­trac­tion that brings thou­sands of vis­i­tors to the coun­try and county ev­ery year.

‘ To close this amenity would have dis­as­trous ef­fects on na­tional and lo­cal tourism. Mr Jus­tice Michael White recog­nised that dili­gence is ex­pected from hill­walk­ers when walk­ing on moun­tain trails.’

The Cathaoir­leach of Ark­low Mu­nic­i­pal District, Cllr Pat Kennedy, has also greeted the High Court’s de­ci­sion to re­verse the award of €40,000 in dam­ages.

‘As a ru­ral coun­cil­lor, I was de­lighted to see the High Court re­verse this de­ci­sion,’ said Cllr Kennedy.

‘Had the orig­i­nal de­ci­sion been up­held there was a real con­cern that the Wick­low Way would be­gin to dis­ap­pear due to landown­ers with­draw­ing their con­sent to al­low walk­ers on their prop­erty due to un­der­stand­able fears about lit­i­ga­tion. This would have had se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for the tourism in­dus­try in Wick­low,’ he said.

Cllr Kennedy said that this process has high­lighted a ma­jor con­cern for coun­try­side recre­ation and ru­ral tourism.

‘A change in leg­is­la­tion is re­quired to en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate pro­tec­tion for the landown­ers in­volved in the Wick­low Way. I know many of th­ese landown­ers per­son­ally, in­deed many are my own neigh­bours, and their con­cerns around this case are fully jus­ti­fied,’ said Cllr Kennedy.

‘Cur­rently a landowner’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards recre­ational users is de­fined by the Oc­cu­piers’ Li­a­bil­ity Act, 1995 and this en­tire case has shown that this Act needs to be re­viewed in or­der to pro­tect landown­ers from claims such as this. A com­mon sense ap­proach is nec­es­sary and walk­ers must take the coun­try­side as they find it if it is to re­main open to all,’ he said. LOLLY is fe­male ter­rier mix who is about one year old. She came into Sharpeshill with nine pup­pies, some of which are still look­ing for homes. She has been the most fan­tas­tic mother, pa­tient and kind, but now that her pups are weaned she her­self will be look­ing for a home. She is so friendly to ev­ery­one and would be a bril­liant com­pan­ion.

If you can offer a for­ever home, con­tact the of­fice at (0404) 44783 or call in dur­ing open­ing hours: Mon­day, Tues­day, Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day from 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun­days and Bank Hol­i­days from 1.30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The JB Malone me­mo­rial above Lough Tay in the Wick­low Moun­tains Na­tional Park.

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