Wicklow Mountains National Park to expand by 1,983 hectares

State buys land in Featherbeds area of Co Dublin from Nama for €800,000

The purchase brings the size of the Wicklow Mountains National Park to 22,000 hectares. Photograph: Chris Hill

The State has paid €800,000 for 1,983 hectares (4,900 acres) of land in the Dublin uplands which will now be added to the Wicklow Mountains National Park, bringing its size to 22,000 hectares.

The price paid, at €163 per acre, is substantially below the valuation put on the land by the vendor, the National Asset Management Agency (Nama). Its valuation would have made for a sale price of €2.5 million.

The land is in the area known as the Featherbeds, and Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring said the acquisition represented excellent value for the State, not just in terms of value for money but also in terms of amenity potential, conservational benefits, and environmental gains.

“This outcome is the culmination of a constructive engagement between the Department and Nama and addresses a long-standing strategy to align key environmental assets,” Mr Ring said.


Earlier this year the Minister told the Dáil he was concerned at the price Nama was seeking for the land, which was close to the size of his total budget for 2016. He said he would have to talk to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan.