It’s pretty incredible to us that, after having first reported on this problem back on July 14th, 2016, the blocking of the ancient mass path that links Delgany to Kilcoole is still being fought over.
Again and again, Kelly Drain Maintenance have lost that battle, being told by Wicklow County Council to packup and by An Bord Pleanala to basically feck off.
But still, Kelly Drains just keep popping back up, like a floater. Because, in truth, they can well afford it. They’re the fat kid with the ball, and they’re going to win this game, no matter what.
It’s a problem that is increasing all over the country, with, close to home, the Enniskerry Walkers Association undergoing a similar David & Goliath battle – one that appears to be heading to European courts.
A change in the right of waylaws in 2009 means that access to ancient paths and old walkways has become something of a legal minefield in this country, which is why the voluntary group Keep Ireland Open have come into existence.
In the meantime, a local group working diligently over the past few years on maintaining the ancient mass path has been fighting a lonely battle against Kelly Drains. And that fight is made all the more difficult given that the Kellys not only have deep pockets but important friends too – and we’ve got the framed solicitor’s letter to prove it.
Their latest attempt to keep their HQ on that ancient mass path is to present the argument that there’s no right of way involved, a tactic that Keep Ireland Open has said is on the rise. And the only way to counter such a claim is to get testimonies from people detailing their usage – or their parents’, or grandparents’ usage – of this mass path. In particular, the stretch where Drummin LanemeetsFarrankelly Road, the location of Kellys’work yard.
And where the old turnstile was still sitting in the hedge until about a year ago, having now mysteriously vanished.
The decision date for the Kelly application is March 9th, so, we’re putting the call out to everyone and anyone for their family’s experience of using this mass path at any time over the past few decades, and even beyond.
Send your personal accounts asap email@example.com, and we’ll pull them together in one easy-to-digest file. Those who have been fighting the good fight already have documents and letters proving the mass path has not only been around for hundreds of years – heck, not even Cromwell was able to destroy it – but has been in constant use with generation after generation…
Suffice to say, the more people power involved in this fight, the more likely that – bejiggers – David might actually knock Goliath off his feet…
Update: Planning was refused – but, best to keep an eye on the An Bord Pleanála appeals page nonetheless.
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