Farmers face new right of way battle
Published 19/04/2011 | 05:00
Tens of thousands of farm rights of way, which have been established by farming families over generations and handed down, are to be abolished under new legislation.
Immediate action is required by farmers to protect their entitlement to the future use of rights of way over neighbouring lands as the traditional "rights" will no longer have a standing in law, legal experts have warned.
Under the Land and Conveyancing Reform Act 2009, which has now become law, traditional rights for farmers over neighbouring lands by virtue of right of way will no longer exist unless the "right" is registered as an easement on the lands.
However, the establishment of these rights and the registration of the "right of way" on the land folio is expected to result in a raft of bitter law cases between neighbouring farmers over the coming months.
Limericj solicitor Martina Murphy, practising partner in the legal firm of Murphy Boyce Solicitors, said very few farmers were aware of the implications of the legislation and the limited time left to retain their rights.
"Easements, which include rights of way, way leaves, rights to cut turf, drainage or other utilities, will be extinguished under the new Act, unless registered before November 30, 2012," she explained.
"While these rights have been virtually inextinguishable in the past under the new legislation, ancient rights of way could be lost unless formally registered.