News 2018 

Title:  Discussions ongoing in relation to possible State purchase of Luggala
Date:  29/11/2018

Discussions ongoing in relation to possible State purchase of Luggala

Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht yesterday welcomed a delegation with a shared interest in the future of Luggala Estate in Co. Wicklow.

The meeting was arranged by Andrew Doyle TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Food, Forestry & Horticulture. The delegation was made up of representatives from Mountaineering Ireland, Wicklow Uplands Council, County Wicklow Partnership and the film industry in Wicklow. Pat Casey TD and representatives from Minister Simon Harris’ office and the National Parks & Wildlife Service also attended.

Mountaineering Ireland’s representatives, Murrough McDonagh (CEO) and Helen Lawless (Hillwalking, Access & Conservation Officer) highlighted the extent of the land for sale, which includes the mountains of Knocknaclghoge and Luggala (also known as Fancy) and the land westwards to the Military Road and the Sally Gap.

It was explained that the public has enjoyed unrestricted access to the mountains, cliffs and valley of Luggala Estate for generations, while at the same time respecting the privacy of the main house and its surrounding grounds. There are fears that if the estate is sold to private interests, the previously accepting regime in relation to public access could easily be ended.

Helen Lawless acknowledged that purchase by the State cannot be the solution to every situation where recreational access is under threat, but that the sale of Luggala represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure this iconic property in State ownership and to manage it for the benefit of current and future generations as part of Wicklow Mountains National Park.

Minister Madigan made clear her interest in Luggala, that she recognises the uniqueness of Luggala and the importance of this 5,000 acre estate to hillwalking, climbing, public health, the film industry and tourism. The Minister stated that there is active engagement between her Department and the agents acting on behalf of the Luggala trustees. She noted the significance of the route from the Pier Gates down to Lough Dan and went on to say that the property, particularly the mountain lands, would be a strategic addition to Wicklow Mountains National Park if it could be acquired within an acceptable price range, and that discussions are ongoing.

At the end of the meeting Murrough McDonagh thanked Minister Madigan for her interest in Luggala and invited the Minister to join Mountaineering Ireland members for a walk at Luggala to see first-hand its stunning landscape and its value to the public.

Mountaineering Ireland extends it thanks to Minister Andrew Doyle and his team for facilitating yesterday’s meeting.

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