Following the success of last years event, it was decided to nominate
Sunday 1st November for the 1998 access day.
Following on from the AGM, we are working on developing a set of position
papers dealing with the main issues faced by KIO, which are:
1. Access for Recreation
2. Rights of Way
3. Freedom to Roam
4. Fencing and Commonage Division
5. Occupiers Liability
The purpose of the position papers is to clearly set out the current
situation, the legal position, the possible courses of action, and official
KIO policy on each of these issues. To date none of these things have
been formally defined, and neither our members, nor anybody else has
known for sure what KIO's position is.
When the committee have agreed draft versions of the papers, they will
be circulated to all members for comment.
Coillte are developing a policy on Sustainable Forest Management, and
we were invited to comment on the first draft. The issues that we raised
included the early closure of forest car parks, management of conflicts
between walkers, mountain bikers, horse riders and motorbikes, barbed
wire fences, path maintenance and the generally poor standard of visitor
We attended the national landscape forum in September. We made our points
about fencing and division of commonage, and the visual intrusion caused
by erection of sheep sheds , mobile phone aerials and wind turbines
in sensitive areas.
The WUC has been quite busy over the summer. A major boost has been
the granting of £25,000 from the Heritage Council. This funding will
be used to hire an administrator for 9 months to get a permanent structure
for the Council in place for the following 5 years. Other news includes
progress on twinning with the Mournes Trust, signs soon to be erected
in Glenmalure and an agreed submission on the draft Development Plan.
Wicklow Development Plan
This was published in July, and contained some very good proposals in
relation to access. It included a list of 16 public rights of way and
a second list of 33 access routes to amenity areas. The purpose of the
second list is to provide a level of protection to important routes
that are not widely accepted as rights of way. KIO made a submission
in support of this proposal but suggesting that proper consultation
with landowners to avoid a backlash. There is along way to go until
the plan is adopted, and we will be lobbying friendly councillors to
ensure that the access provisions are retained.
Woods, Blessington, Co.Wicklow
A Bord Pleanala oral hearing was held in July and KIO were represented.
As you are probably aware the Bord refused planning permission for further
quarrying, and as a result the amenities and environment of Glending
have been saved (for the time being!). White Hill, Co.Wicklow A report
has just come in about a keep out sign to the east of White Hill just
beyond the forestry at Ballinastoe.
Beach, Co Mayo
We had a most successful protest at Oghool in June which was attended
by approximately 200 people. In spite of a "welcoming group" from the
local IFA the protest went off peacefully. We received much positive
local and national media coverage. Our thanks to members for your support.
Following this event, we received word that the local sergeant was going
to mediate with the landowner. However, after 4 months nothing has happened
and it has been concluded that further action is required. We are therefore
exploring legal and European Commission possibilities.
Inagh, Co Galway
Signs have appeared at the road into this glen declaring it to be private
and possibly denying access for the public. The cause of the problem
appears to be inconsiderate parking, and we are exploring ways of defusing
Despite an agreement with Delphi Lodge which accepted the case for some
limited fencing around a house near the southern end of Doolough, the
whole stretch along by the river has been fenced. While the owner claims
to have no intention of denying access for walkers to Mweelrea, it is
not clear to walkers that they can cross the fence. Discussions are
ongoing and we may have to ask the council to act on the planning permission.
and Durles, Co Mayo
These illegal fences have been there far too long. We are seeking legal
advice to see how we can progress matters.
at Inver, Co Donegal
Access is being denied and we are in correspondence with the council.
In spite of our letter to minister deValera Duchas (formerly NPWS) has
appealed the decision to refuse planning permission to an Bord Planeala.
Finally some positive developments in the long standing saga about fencing
at Maherabeg. The Council are requiring much of the fencing which was
erected without permission to be re-erected further from the road and
much of the barbed wire has to be replaced by ordinary wire. In addition
stiles and gates are required. This represents a partial victory for
the efforts of KIO and Catherine McMullan in Tralee.
An illegal fence has been erected denying access to a major section
of the Brandon ridge on one side of the road and preventing access by
anglers to lakes and rivers on the other side. In conjunction with the
fishery owners we have taken this matter up with the Council
Castles Head, Co Cork
The issue of access restrictions to the old castle near Goleen is being
pursued with the help of a new member in Cork.
been quiet on the political front for the past few months. The Miscellaneous
Department (of Arts, Heritage, Culture, Gaeltacht and the Islands) has
gone into hibernation on the SAC and NHA issue, and very little appears
to be happening on anything else.
Seamus Mac Gearailt, Chairman 01-2840322 and Newsletter Editor: email:
Michael Carroll, Secretary 01-4943221
Jacinta Moore, Treasurer 01-2988974
Michael Murphy, Sec.Connacht 098-25068
items: material for the newsletter is very much appreciated by email
or on disk in most formats. It saves a lot of typing!
If you would like to inform us of any problems in your area please email us at
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