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Undocumented Rights of Way – yet again more changes

22nd September, 2021

The Law has grappled with this difficult issue for centuries and legislation has been ineffective for the last 150 years! Recent attempts here have not helped. So, it’s apt that the Irish Times in yesterday’s edition states ;-

Proposed changes to how rights of way and other so-called “easement rights” are established that have led to confusion are set to be delayed indefinitely.

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys is to seek approval from the Government to remove an upcoming deadline after which changes to registering easements – such as right of way – are due to take effect.

Easements are rights which a landowner has over a neighbour’s land, including right of way, shooting and fishing rights.

Laws passed in 2009 and updated in 2011 required that these rights – which can only be acquired by users over a substantial period of years – needed to be registered either by Circuit Court order or by making an application to the Property Registration Authority.

The deadline for registering under this new system was November 30th, but concerns and confusion have emerged over how the new system would operate, including a lack of clarity over the period of time required to make a claim based on long-term use of another’s land.