Farm Ireland

Wednesday 25 April 2018

TDs urged to dismiss 'divisive' land access bill in Dail

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Pressure is mounting on TDs to reject a Private Member's Bill that would potentially create public access routes through farmland.

The Labour Party Private Member's Bill on land access is set to come before the Dáil next week.

IFA Hill Committee chairman Tom Fadian described the Bill as unnecessary and divisive and warned it would be strenuously opposed by farmers and landowners throughout the country.

Mr Fadian said conflict over land access in the past had been successfully resolved through the introduction of the Walks Scheme. Almost 40 walks have been created through the scheme, with farmers undertaking maintenance of the routes.

He warned that co-operation was the way forward, rather than introducing legislation which he claimed would infringe on the rights of landowners.

"The introduction of this Bill would also be a major setback to the good work of Comhairle na Tuaithe over the past number of years," he insisted.

"Walks have been created through the goodwill of farmers and landowners and the various agencies involved in recreational tourism."

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