News 2020


Title:  General Election 2020 – please use your voice
Date:  24/01/2020

General Election 2020 – please use your voice

The achievement of Mountaineering Ireland’s objectives in relation to improving access and protecting the mountain environment depends on political support.

If you have the opportunity to speak with any of the candidates in the upcoming general election, please tell them how hillwalking and/or climbing are important to you, and that if elected you want them to:

1. Improve and secure access for responsible hillwalkers and climbers in Ireland

2. Protect Ireland's mountain environment

Points to support your request:

  • The vast majority of private landowners in upland areas allow access across their land, but the goodwill of landowners is under pressure from increased numbers participating in outdoor recreation activities.
  • The voluntary model of agreed Mountain Access being trialled in two areas (the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Binn Shléibhe, Co. Galway) needs to be made work by completing the indemnity arrangement promised by Government for landowners in these areas.
  • Fáilte Ireland research shows that 2,679,000 overseas tourists engaged in hiking / cross country walking in 2018; this activity brings significant economic benefit to rural communities.
  • Clarity and certainty regarding access can be good for rural communities that want to attract visitors for hillwalking and other outdoor recreation activities.
  • We need proactive management of Ireland’s growing outdoor recreation sector, guided by a strategic approach, which recognises both the benefits of this activity and potential challenges.

We need elected representatives who will engage with this issue and champion responsible outdoor recreation.

  • It’s fantastic that more people are enjoying Ireland’s outdoors, however increased footfall has an impact on the natural environment. In addition to walkers taking care to minimise their impact, investment and skilled intervention are required to repair damaged routes and protect the beauty of Ireland’s mountains.
  • Ireland’s mountains and upland areas are vital natural assets which also have an important role in helping to address the climate crisis.
  • A healthy mountain environment provides many benefits to society including quality outdoor recreation experiences, better water quality, flood mitigation, carbon storage, space for biodiversity and scenic landscapes.
  • Farmers should be encouraged to deliver more of these public benefits through land management; this should be part of Ireland's new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plan. 

You could also mention your own experience of uncertain or restricted access, and talk about the changes you have noticed in the mountain landscape and how these factors affect the quality of your recreation experiences.

As the national representative body for hillwalkers and climbers, Mountaineering Ireland will work in partnership with Government and state agencies, other interested parties and local Mountaineering Ireland members to implement measures to secure access and to help protect the mountain landscapes where we walk and climb.

Polling day in the General Election is Saturday 8th February; please use your voice to help improve access and protect Ireland’s mountains.

If you have any questions or comments on the above points please email or phone the Mountaineering Ireland office on 01 6251115.



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