Keep Ireland Open - a Brief history

Keep Ireland Open

Working for the right to access the countryside

Keep Ireland Open - a Brief history

Keep Ireland Open - a Brief history

KIO was initially formed 1994 by a group which included farmers in the West of Ireland – among this early group was our present President Jackie Rumley – in response to the fencing off and sub-division of 2,400 acres of commonage. A High Court Case and an Oral Hearing of An Bord Pleanála in Castlebar resulted in successfully preventing the fencing off of this commonage.

As a result of this the group began to meet with hill walkers and realised there was no group speaking out for walkers’ rights.
KIO has since dedicated itself to the preservation and creation of rights of access to the countryside. This includes rights of access to our mountains, lakes, rivers and coastal areas.

Presently, KIO is primarily an umbrella organisation that brings together the various recreational bodies that share the same aims. In addition we have many individual members and the validity of our mandate has been gradually recognised by the authorities and we are increasingly being consulted directly by government and local authorities on access and related matters.

KIO is an independent, voluntary, non-party political, non-denominational organisation.

As you will see in the following pages, recreational users have minimal rights to access the countryside. It is only by determined and sustained lobbying and campaigning that this situation can be reversed. We hope you will look at these pages and then consider contributing. Don’t leave it to someone else!

Keep Ireland Open is not just for dedicated hill walkers. It is for all who want to access our countryside, be they walkers, ornithologists, archaeologists, historians, canoeists, anglers – just as has been achieved in other countries decades ago.
We need members to show that there are people who care about access. It is essential to show that we have a strong body of support when we talk to politicians. We need help in our work.