Letter to the editor of the Irish Times Aug 2019

Letter to the editor of the Irish Times Aug 2019


Keep Ireland Open note that the new owners of Luggala Estate are making encouraging noises about  keeping the Estate open to the public as it has been for many years. However, it has to be born in mind that in Garech be Brun’s time the Estate was open on a “grace and favour basis” only. It must be said that the law on access to the countryside in Ireland, which is much more restrictive than virtually every EU country, allows property owners to close off their property at any time, without notice and without having to give any reason. In your article you mention that the Estate was sold at a considerable discount. This begs the question as to why the Estate, with its enormous recreational value, was not acquired by the State and added to the Wicklow National Park. It seems germane to ask why the National Parks and Wildlife Service has been starved of cash by successive Governments whereas there always seems to have plenty of money for the likes of the FAI and horse racing interests. 

Finally, the new owners are facing  a problem about the recent new fencing, presumably erected  by the interim regime at Luggala, on its eastern boundary with the Silverbuck forest. KIO have discovered several access routes being blocked by this new fencing. As the fencing was erected without planning permission the enforcement section of the Wicklow County Council are taking the necessary steps to enforce the planning laws.

Roger Garland
Keep Ireland Open