Landowner awaits ruling in his fight to halt walkers

Tim Healy

A High Court action by a Wicklow landowner who claims that no public right of way exists over his property has been adjourned.

The case has been brought by Joseph Walker, who says he has been subject to intimidation and his property has been damaged by individuals he claims wrongly believe there is a public right of way across his land.

He is seeking declarations from the court that his lands in Enniskerry are not subject to a public right of way and that members of a walking club are not entitled to enter onto the lands for any purpose.

Previously, Mr Walker, of Annacrivey, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, was granted a temporary High Court injunction preventing Niall Leonach, Monastery Grove, and Noel Barry, Monastery, both from Enniskerry, who are members of the Enniskerry Walkers Association, and any others, from entering his 140 acres of land without lawful authority.

The defendants oppose the action.

Yesterday, following a ruling on a preliminary issue on the defence's assertion that a public right of way does exist, Mr Justice John MacMenamin adjourned the the case for three weeks.

The judge said this was because an issue "by way of implication or inference" relating to public rights of way, and the rights of the Attorney General on issues of this type had been raised in the proceedings.

The judge, who said his ruling was in no way a determination on the facts of the case, said that issues had not been fully identified in the pleadings, and this needed to be remedied. He was allowing the defendants time to fully set out their claims.