Wicklow landowner sues
A CO Wicklow landowner has begun a High Court action aimed at securing a declaration that no public right of way exists over his 140-acre property at Enniskerry.
Joseph Walker, Annacrievy, Enniskerry, has brought the case against Niall Lenoach, Monastery Grove, Enniskerry, and Noel Barry, Monastery, Enniskerry, chairman and secretary respectively of the Enniskerry Walkers Association.
Michael Counihan SC, for Mr Walker, said if his client got the declaration that no public right of way existed, he would seek an order restraining the defendants entering his lands.
Dr Michael Forde SC, for the defendants, said there had been a public road in the disputed area since 1760 known as the Old Coach Road.
In evidence, Mr Walker said his father had purchased the relevant lands in 1945 and farmed it until his death in 1980.
He did not remember people using any part of his father’s property . . . and it would upset his father if he saw people using it for recreation, he said.
Scouts were allowed to use the land and he had also allowed his local GP, who did some shooting, a hunt and some deer-stalkers to come on to it, he said. All of those had sought his permission to enter it, he added.
In an affidavit, Mr Walker said a pamphlet entitled 10 Walks in Enniskerry was published in 2002 describing routes of walks alleged to be open to the public and illustrating those with rough maps.
He discovered to his surprise one of those routes passed over his lands. He said he had not been consulted before publication and there was no public right of way over his lands by that or any other route.
Walkers then began to enter on to his land using the pamphlet, he said. The case continues today.
The Irish Times - Wednesday, February 9, 2011