News 2012

Title: Meeting with Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Date: 20/04/2012
Meeting with Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

20 April 2012

Minister Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht met with Mountaineering Ireland's (MI) Karl Boyle, CEO and Helen Lawless, Hillwalking, Access & Conservation Officer in Tralee, Co. Kerry on Friday, 13 April 2012.

Minister Deenihan has responsibility for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) that manages the Irish State's nature conservation responsibilities under national and European law. A particular responsibility of the NPWS is the designation and protection of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs).

The meeting focused on the protection of protected areas, illegal use of off road vehicles, the pilot Mountain Access Scheme, MI's proposal for an Upland Path Conference (Erosion Management) and concerns over any potential sale of the Coillte estate.

Minister Deenihan, who demonstrated a firm understanding of hillwalkers concerns, spoke of initiatives he would be taking to address the the protection of protected areas and was positive on other MI proposals. He also noted MI's concerns that Coillte plays a huge role in providing access, often informal, to upland areas and that any sale could have a huge impact on people throughout Ireland.

MI would like to thank Minister Deenihan for the opportunity to discuss these matters.

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