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Mattie McGrath

Published 9 months ago 25th September 2021 by Editor

Looming registration deadline for ‘rights of way’ removed following pressure from the Rural Independent TDs

The Rural Independent Group of TDs have today (Wednesday 22nd September), warmly welcomed confirmation that the Government have adopted the group’s recommendations to defer indefinitely the looming deadline to register an easement or right of way by the end of November this year. Welcoming confirmation of the registration deadline removal, the Leader of the Rural Independent Group, Deputy Mattie Mc Grath stated:

“Over the summer months we had been raising our serious concerns around the November deadline. We made a number of recommendations around deferring the deadline and seeking a full review of the existing law. Naturally, we are very pleased that the government listened to our calls and have decided to now introduce a – short amending bill – aimed at amending the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 and repealing the requirements concerning the registration of easements and rights of way with the Property Registration Authority.”

“The difficulties relate to the requirements of the 2009 Act (as amended), which introduced a new necessity for a prescriptive right to be verified by a court order and / or registered with the PRA. The final deadline for applications

under the old rules (2009) made to court, or directly to the PRA, was 30 November 2021.”

“Although, prescriptive rights could still be validated and registered after that deadline, however new stringent rules applied from 1 December, which would mean lengthy and expensive court processes.”

“This matter was a cause of grave concern for many rural dwellers. In fact, if the concerns we relayed to the government were not acted upon, then a large volume of unnecessary court cases to protect rights which have been enjoyed for generations, would have occurred. Equally, the entire matter had the potential to cause animosity between neighbours, expensive legal costs, and added court backlogs.”

Deputy Danny Healy Rae, who has been raising this issue on the floor of the Dáil for months, said, “My colleagues and I, welcome the decision taken by the government, which essentially means that the law applicable to easements and rights-of-way will largely be reverted to the common law that applied before the 2009 Act.”

“We welcome the fact that a full time-bound review to identify the most appropriate long- term strategy for – rights of way – will now be undertaken. However, common sense, workability and practically must be at the heart of any revised solutions.”

In concluding Deputy Mattie Mc Grath said, “We raised the rights of way registration deadline as a crucial issue of major concern with the government over the summer. We are now relieved that the government have reacted to our calls in a constructive manner.”

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