Section Menu

Comhairle na Tuaithe

Comhairle na Tuaithe vwas established to advise the Minister for Rural and Community Development on the sustainable development of outdoor recreation.

The Comhairle includes representatives from farming organisations, recreational users and state bodies with a responsibility or interest in the countryside. Mountaineering Ireland has been a member of Comhairle na Tuaithe since its formation in 2004.

National Outdoor Recreation Strategy

In 2020 Comhairle na Tuaithe commenced work on the development of a new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy, which will provide an overarching framework to support the growth and development of Ireland’s outdoor recreation sector. Mountaineering Ireland co-chairs the working group for this key project. The Strategy is due to be launched in the latter half of 2022.

Learn More

Mountain Access Project

In 2021 Comhairle na Tuaithe established a new Sustainable Upland Recreation sub-group, to review Comhairle’s Mountain Access Programme and facilitate its expansion to other areas.

The Mountain Access Project was introduced to provide clarity regarding recreational access, based on the voluntary agreement of landowners in a defined mountain area. This model of agreed access is currently being piloted in two areas - the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Binn Shléibhe near Clonbur, Co. Galway.

Learn More

National Outdoor Recreation Forum (NI)

In Northern Ireland, The National Outdoor Recreation Forum (NORF) was established in 2016 to provide a mechanism for representatives from governing bodies of sport, local forums, and other non-governmental stakeholders to have an effective and united voice for the development of outdoor recreation. Mountaineering Ireland has participated in NORF from the outset.

NORF has been involved in addressing strategic and policy issues, particularly in responding to a review of access legislation in Northern Ireland. Mountaineering Ireland has been centrally involved in a proposal from NORF for the development of an Outdoor Recreation Bill for Northern Ireland. The proposal is based on providing quality outdoor recreation opportunities for this and future generations, in a way that achieves a balance between the common good, the rights of landowners and protection of the natural environment.

The Chairperson of NORF sits on the Strategic Outdoor Recreation Group which leads the delivery of Our Great Outdoors Northern Ireland’s Outdoor Recreation Action Plan.

Learn More

Visitor Group Safety

The Visitor Safety Group is a UK and Ireland-wide network bringing together more than 50 landowners and other organisations with a role in visitor risk management. Mountaineering Ireland became a VSG member in 2017 following the Wall v NPWS case (the VSG approach was outlined in Mountaineering Ireland’s evidence in that case).

The Visitor Safety Group principles, which have been endorsed by a number of State agencies in Ireland, provide practical guidance on how to create safe access to the countryside in ways that do not spoil the landscape and heritage, or lessen the visitor’s sense of exploration and adventure. The kernel of the VSG approach is that the balance between management intervention and a visitor’s responsibility for their own safety should change depending on the location, with a higher degree of self-reliance expected of people in more remote and rugged locations.
The VSG approach is increasingly being recognised in Ireland as best practice in visitor management in the outdoors, and will be embedded in the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy. Mountaineering Ireland is represented on the board of the Visitor safety Group by Vincent Mc Alinden.

To learn more go to

Prevent Erosion

Damage to vegetation and soil from repeated footfall is the biggest impact of recreation in upland areas. Keep to the centre of the path, even when it’s wet or muddy, this prevents damaged areas becoming wider.

Learn More


Mountaineering Ireland, Irish Sport HQ, National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
Tel: (353) 01 625 1115

Terms & Conditions

Private Policy

Our Partners

Mountaineering Ireland

Visitors to this web site are reminded that hillwalking, climbing and rambling are activities that can be dangerous and may result in personal injury or death. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.

Put Something Back

Make a conscious effort to support the areas where you walk and climb by using local shops, cafés, pubs and other services. This is noticed and appreciated by local communities. Where there’s an honesty box in a car park, make sure to contribute.

Learn More

cookie preferences
cookie preferences