If the rules changed recently ( less than 1 year ago ) I couldn't confirm either but if they haven't changed than the situation is as follows. There's no rules stating that you can't tow a car on a public road except on a motorway where you can tow only as far as the next exit unless the drawing vehicle is a properly equiped recovery vehicle like for example the AA vans with the special built in/on towing equipment.
An a-frame is sufficient here for motorway use. It attaches to the tow-bar or the drawing vehicle and then to the subframe of the towed car. Frequently can be found with a method of controling the brakes of the towed car also.
Anyhow, the reason I said 05/06 was that I picked up a tow-bar in Aldi (for €9) just after the legislation changed (or so I believe) and it has served me well since. It's only pulled the tow-eye out of TWO cars since - one a 309 GTi... doh.
leaving all legality issues aside:
Anyone with two brain cells to rub together must realise that towing with a rope is risky and not particularly safe.
I've done it many times, but never any further than a few miles to the next garage or back home and would never dream of towing a car with a rope over long distances or at any significant speed, never mind on motorways.
I can confirm as a professional recovery operator that it is in fact ILLEGAL to tow a vehicle with a rope (unless of course you're just clearing a blockage on a road ie tow for 100 metres). I took the step of ringing Naas Garda station the other week and they said that it is an offence, calling it " driving without due care and consideration for other road users". However towing with a "straight bar" is perfectly legal. Hope this clears up the confusion.
Don't bump ancient threads. Thanks