Exploiting our heritage

Mon, Mar 5, 2012, 00:00

Sir, – Your Editorial (February 20th) on the need to open up our magnificent physical heritage to visitors and citizens alike fails to mention, let alone address, the biggest failing in this regard: the need to protect public access.

Ever wondered why nobody visits the stunning mediaeval town beside Wellington Bridge in Co Wexford? Heard about the great castle in Co Kildare where the locals face a huge legal bill for trying to protect access? These are just two out of dozens, if not hundreds, of access problems concerning national monuments.

Meanwhile, a National Monuments Bill designed to protect access to our archaeological heritage has languished to the point of death in the Dáil for several years: the victim of a lack of political will.

The lack of protection for public access to our physical landscape, both archaeological and physical, is Ireland’s dirty little secret. Until we have legislation protecting both then your Editorial writer’s well-intentioned suggestion of using both to our advantage will remain but pious hopes. – Yours, etc,

ALBERT SMITH,

Keep Ireland Open

The Enniskerry Walking

Association,

Kilmolin, Enniskerry,

Co Wicklow.