The High Court has ruled that no public right-of-way exists over the lands of a Wicklow landowner, Joseph Walker, in the Glencree Valley in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.
However, the judge said his order applied only to the chairman and secretary of the Enniskerry Walkers Association (EWA), the defendants, and did not apply to others as Mr Walker never sought to join other people as parties to the case.
The defendants said there had been a public road in the disputed area since 1760 known as the Old Coach Road. They claimed the right of way on land was half way between Enniskerry and Glencree. They also claimed there was evidence of the road on maps from 1760 onwards and reference to the road was contained in a report prepared by Wicklow County Council.
Mr Walker argued no such road exists and claimed he was subjected to aggressive confrontations after marches were organised to his land. He also claimed his property was damaged by trespassers and he believed the EWA campaign had led to trespassers gaining access to his land, he said. He claimed he was besieged and intimidated because of the actions of the defendants in agitating for a public right of way.
Mr Walker, a chartered accountant, told the court his father had purchased the lands in 1945 and had farmed it until his death as a result of an accident in 1980.
He said he did not remember people using any part of his father's property. People didn't wander onto it that much and it would upset his father if he saw people using it for recreational use.
1. Wicklow landowner wins right-of-way case - RT News
2. Landowner wins right-of-way case - The Irish Times - Wed, Feb 08, 2012