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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
2011-06-09 11:38:39
Re Access Issues
The lack of legislation is a major nuisance and deterrent to walking in many parts of Ireland. Of course it's a problem. There needs to be way of balancing private landowners rights and the public good.
MI came close to getting some sort of deal done through CnaT - the unresolved point was that the farmers wanted an indemnity so that if some gobshite sued them after hurting themselves on the farmers land their legal defence would be taken care of. Not unreasonable. However O'Cuiv who was sponsoring this and FF are now out of the picture. It's hardly going to be an early priority for the new government.

Many of the original wild objections to walking and hillwalking have fallen away and there seems to me to be an increasing perception in rural communities that walking can have huge value. Keep on walking, documenting places to walk, helping communities to organise walking events and the situation will continue to normalise. Be reasonable about access. Whether or not there is legislation it will always be necessary to get along with landowners.

KIO perform a useful service in documenting instances of landowner intransigence, however they did themselves and no-one else any favours by writing letters to UK publications pointing to problems here in response to Irish tourism advertising. The Irish tourism authorities are foolish to airbrush problems out but there has to be a better way of tackling this.

Political momentum needs appropriate public advocacy to crystallise the growing support for walking as well as support from political parties.

Overall I would say Festina Lente - make haste slowly.
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