National monuments


Sir, – JD Mangan (February 12th) mentions two dolmens in south Dublin. These dolmens are among the 120,000 recorded monuments of which only a thousand are owned by the State. As Mr Mangan correctly states the dolmens at Kiltiernan and Brennanstown are privately owned. He goes on to berate Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council responsible for its failure to use public funds to allow public access. This would, of course, involve the council in compensating the landowners. Perhaps a compromise allowing access for a fixed time for say once a week might fill the bill at little or no cost. – Yours, etc,



Keep Ireland Open,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – I share JD Mangan’s concerns over lack of public access to listed national monuments in the Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council area. There is an increasing lack of access to monuments in Co Wicklow and most other local authority areas. However, the responsibility lies primarily with successive governments for failing to amend the National Monuments Acts to provide reasonable public access in line with other developed countries. This Government can instruct the local authorities to create public access to significant national monuments and if necessary provide compensation for the creation of public footpaths to them. This is part of a wider problem. There has been a steady erosion of public access to monuments, lakes, mountains, mass paths and traditional walking routes over the past 30 years. This is not simply the responsibility of local government officials. Where they have tried to protect the public interest they have had no support from a hostile Government or an unsympatathetic judiciary. Legislation at national level is the only way forward. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.