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In response to the article about the rights of walkers and landowners (Farming Mar 24), Keep Ireland Open would like to point out that, while the New Zealand example is interesting, there is a simpler and less expensive option: a National Indemnity Scheme.
This proposed Scheme which has the unanimous support of all members of the government sponsored Comhairle na Tuaithe (The Countryside Council) would completely remove all possible liability for claims by recreational users of our countryside against landowners for accidents by making the State liable for damages for successful claims by walkers.
The likely cost to the government would be minimal bearing in mind that no successful claim has been made since the passing of the Occupiers Liability Act in 1995. This proposal has been held up by the Dept of the Environment for over fouryears. The adoption of this Scheme is surely a no-brainer and would represent a win/win for landowners, walkers as well as improving Ireland’s ability to attract walkers from abroad who are reluctant to come here due to the present lack of certainty about their rights.
Chairman Keep Ireland Open
43 Butterfield Drive
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