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Decision on Wicklow Way appeal case expected today

A High Court appeal against an award of €40,000 in damages to an experienced hillwalker, who claimed she tripped and fell on the Wicklow way, is expected to conclude today. According to the Irish Times, The National Parks and Wildlife Service disputes any liability for the injuries suffered by Teresa Wall and has appealed a Circuit Court decision in her favour.

Ms Wall claims she tripped and fell when her foot snagged in a hole on a wooden boardwalk on lands owned by the NPWS on August the 16th in 2013. Yesterday Helen Lawless, the hillwalking, access and conservation officer with Mountaineering Ireland told the court she believed Hillwalkers should take personal responsibility for their own actions while participating in what can be a dangerous sport,.

The Circuit court case has raised concerns about the future of the Wicklow way, because private landowners would cease to allow walkers cross their land where the Wicklow way crossed, for fear of facing a similar action.

During the trial Pat Mellon of Wicklow Tourism said land owners had informed him they were considering withdrawing permission allowing hillwalkers on their lands if the ruling stands.

Others could follow and this could result in the closure of the Wicklow Way which runs from South County Dublin, through the Wicklow Mountains and ends in Co Carlow.