News 2012

Title: Crag Access Update
Access to Rusheen Crag

Climbers may be aware that a crag at Rusheen, near Kilgarvan, Co. Kerry was developed for sports climbing. When the owners of the land at Rusheen became aware of the nature of the development, access was restricted (July 2011).

Mountaineering Ireland, in conjunction with the developers attempted to resolve the matter, and while the initial meetings were positive, the fact that the crag was bolted complicated matters.

Mountaineering Ireland sought legal advice, the outcome of which indicated that where protection is permanently fixed to a crag, the character of the crag is changed and this may change the responsibility of the landowner to climbers on their land. Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1995, where a structure is provided for use by recreational users, the landowner has a duty to maintain it. The legal advice received indicated that a series of bolts could be considered a structure. The same concern would not apply to a traditional crag as this is the natural environment. 

Mountaineering Ireland and the landowners at Rusheen discussed a number of options, including the leasing of the crag, but the landowners decided against these. The landowners requested the developers to return the crag to its original state, in as far as is possible and this is underway.

Mountaineering Ireland would like to thank both the landowners and the climbers who have cooperated in resolving the situation amicably.

Access to the Old Head of Kinsale Crags

Progress is being made on access to the Old Head of Kinsale Crags. The crags are owned by both the Commissioner of Irish Lights and Old Head Golf Links, Kinsale and entry is controlled by the latter.

Mountaineering Ireland has provided an indemnity to the landowners. Access will initially be limited to two pre-arranged visits per month co-ordinated by local climbers. Mountaineering Ireland members, including representatives of CYCC, UCCMC and others are currently drafting a code of conduct for climbing at the Old Head.

Building a positive relationship with the landowners and ensuring adherence to the local code is vital to increasing access to the Old Head. MI would like to thank John Murphy, CYCC for his on-going involvement in this matter.