Indemnity pledge welcomed but more needs to be address farmer concerns on walkers

Farmers welcome proposed new laws on indemnification against injury claims by hill walkers.
Farmers welcome proposed new laws on indemnification against injury claims by hill walkers.

A COMMITMENT by Minister Michael Ring to indemnify landowners against claims by hill walkers has been welcomed by Galway IFA – but more still needs to be done to take farmers’ concerns into account.

Galway IFA Hill Sheep Representative, Eamonn Nee, told the Farming Tribune that while the latest announcement from the Minister was ‘very welcome’ there were a number of concerns that still had to be addressed.

“We would feel very strongly that the landowners in question must at least be given the courtesy of being asked when people are going to walk across his lands.

“While the commitment to indemnify the landowners will be an important one when it is introduced, we cannot have a situation where every ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ can walk across a farmer’s lands,” said Eamonn Nee.

He also pointed out what while the Walks Scheme was an important one in terms of at least giving something back in return to the farmers whose lands were being used for the walks, it didn’t cover all area areas, and needed to be extended further.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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