Graffiti discussed with new park ranger
A meeting with representatives of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has taken place in the Cooley Mountains to discuss what can be done to address the arrows recently spray-painted onto rocks along the mountain ridge between the Long Woman's Grave and Carlingford.
NPWS staff met with local IFA representative Matthew McGreehan, local hillwalker Derek Watters and Helen Lawless from Mountaineering Ireland. NPWS Regional Manager Padraig O'Donnell expressed concern at the scale of the vandalism and the fact that it has been recurring for a number of years.
The area affected is part of the Cooley Mountains Special Area of Conservation. A number of rare mosses and lichens have been identified on the rocks in the area.
It was agreed that it would be 'desirable to remove the arrows from locations where their visual impact is severe', where they may mislead walkers or where the arrows are creating new lines across fragile boggy terrain. The NPWS agreed to carry out an assessment to determine if there is a way to remove the paint without exacerbating the ecological damage.
If a solution is agreed upon, the removal of the paint may be carried out by local hillwalkers with the permission of the landowners, in the meantime people are asked not to attempt to remove the arrows as further damage could be caused. The NPWS representatives also confirmed that they would follow up with the Gardaí.