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Bleck Cra
2005-03-29 19:29:52
"Newcastle: built on the back of these hills." from Bleck Cra Expand pics
Newcastle: built on the back of these hills. (Expand pics)
I am interested to read Captain Vertigo’s piece about access in Wicklow. It is balanced and careful. Of the case, I know only what he relates - but I have mountain-sized views on the subject. Too many of us opine that country access should be free and that it’s the mark of some foul, suppressive force, that it is not. Firstly “access” is our word for someone else’s road or through-route for ancient trade or communication. We are very late on the scene to be claiming it for ourselves. These great outdoors exist not for our spiritual uplift, but as real workplaces and vehicles to support the produce of hard-working and frequently put-upon farmers; and we need to be heart thankful for the opportunity to “borrow” them. Incidentally, anyone who thinks they can claim access as a RIGHT from PJ Giles by shouting and flapping placards will quickly be disabused of the notion. I grew up in Scotland’s agricultural heartland - Galloway and I know that breed of farmer and landowner to have a business mind that makes the sharpest suit look like Wilkins Micawber, but it needs none of that acumen to calculate that if it makes money, you can “advance friend”; if it costs money you must “retreat foe”. So what has happened in the Wicklow Hills? Have we been crapping in our own nest? I ask because there is nothing in CV’s piece (or perhaps not anywhere) that tells us why the council were (if not still) en route to closing/re-defining these “ways”. There are only 2 suspects: no profitable friends or too many costly foes. In the Mourne Mountains everyone loves the hillwalkers - because in the towns they spend a fortune and some of that goes back amongst the sugar lumps in Sweeney’s pocket.
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