Thursday 15 January 2009

Lissadell owners take fight to high court

THE owners of Lissadell House have initiated High Court proceedings to resolve the issue of public rights of way over the Sligo estate.

The ancestral home of Countess Markievicz and its grounds were closed to the public this week. Owners Edward Walsh and Constance Cassidy claimed they were unable to continue with the development of the property as a tourist attraction because of an ongoing dispute with some local residents over rights of way on certain roads in the estate.

Their consistent claims that there are no public rights of way through the land are being challenged by locals who say that such rights of way have existed for generations.

Matters came to a head last month when Sligo County Council voted to amend its development plan to make provision for the preservation of rights of way through Lissadell.

But in the wake of the decision by the owners to close down the estate, the council passed an emergency motion earlier this week seeking an immediate meeting with the owners and locals.

In a statement issued last night, the barrister couple criticised Sligo County Council for failing to inform them of that emergency motion. "The only reason we know about this resolution is because we became aware of it in the media."

Anita Guidera
Irish Independent

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