Walking and access to routes


Sir, – Maintain Eire Open welcomes Brian Hutton’s glorious article “Can Ireland walk tall with Wild Atlantic route?” (March twenty sixth).

Sadly the reply to this query is an emphatic “No”.

Entry for walkers the place non-public land must be traversed, with uncommon exceptions such because the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in West Cork, is abysmal. Which means that giant swathes of the Irish countryside are inaccessible to folks whether or not they be native or vacationers. For a number of necessary causes, this should change. Strolling and different bodily exercise is nice for folks’s well being. As Eire has change into a largely city society there’s a higher want for accountable entry to the countryside, a truth born out by the recognition of greenways. Vacationers from different European international locations anticipate a lot higher entry for walkers and lots of are disillusioned by what they discover in Eire. As Hutton’s article makes clear, rising entry brings with it very appreciable financial advantages, continuously to distant components which may benefit from an financial enhance. Little question that’s the reason for the vocal marketing campaign to get a greenway opened between Westport and Louisburgh in Co Mayo.

A strolling path alongside the Wild Atlantic Approach is a wonderful thought. The obstacles to this are large. A number of examples show this. Getting the South Kerry Greenway accepted required a Supreme Courtroom resolution. The blocked entry to Fenit Island in north Kerry required a 15-year marketing campaign by native folks, resulting in a Circuit Courtroom resolution final January to order the elimination of the blockage. The long-established path to the viewing level for the Pollet Sea Arch in Lough Swilly, Co Donegal, was blocked, resulting in a scenario the place, at appreciable price, Donegal County Council has to pay hire for another route which is permissive solely and may very well be withdrawn. Even on our well-known pilgrimage peak, Croagh Patrick, entry is permissive somewhat than assured. In principle no less than, entry may very well be withdrawn, regardless that public cash has just lately been spent upgrading the observe to the summit.

These circumstances level to why Maintain Eire Open is of the agency view that laws is urgently required to determine entry and rights of manner. The British Countryside and Rights of Approach Act 2000 is a information for what may be appropriate laws for this nation. If all farmers and landowners had the enlightened view of the West Cork farmer cited in your article, this mightn’t be crucial. Nevertheless, as my examples show, this isn’t the scenario typically; therefore the necessity for laws. – Yours, and so on,

ROBERT DOWDS,

Chairman,

Maintain Eire Open,

Clondalkin,

Dublin 22.



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