Letter to the editor of the Irish Times Feb 3 rd 2017

Luggala and access for walkers

Letter to the editor of the Irish Times  

Published Feb 3 rd 2017


I would like to support Roger Garland and Keep Ireland Open in their call (January 31st) for the State to buy the Luggla estate in Co Wicklow being sold by Garech Browne of the Guinness family. Unusually among Irish landowners, and to his credit, he gave free access for walkers over most of his lands. By purchasing the land, the State would ensure that continued access. Given the beauty of the place and its nearness to Dublin, it would be a great public asset, a Phoenix Park in the mountains if you like.

When I was a Labour TD, I had an Access to the Countryside Bill discussed on the floor of Dáil Eireann. Progressing it further proved to be impossible due to overwhelming opposition from Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and others whose fear of farming organisations was such that they wouldn’t go there, even though more access for walkers would hugely benefit our tourist industry and contribute towards a revivial of rural Ireland.

Yours etc

Robert Dowds