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Access to landlocked land

  • 30-08-2022 4:06pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,689 ✭✭✭

    I’ve been approached by a man, unknown to me until he introduced himself. He’s the owner of a landlocked parcel of scrub/bog land bounding one of my fields. He wants to tidy up his land. He used to acces his plot by means of a short lane way into my land and then hug the headlands across 3 small fields till he reached his land.

    For context I’m in my early 40’s, and in my lifetime, I’d never met this man, nor seen him on or work the land and only ever known it to be overgrown with bushes. The laneway has always been closed at both ends and never in use and I can only recall 1 large field instead of several small fields. From what I’m led to believe rights of way cease to exist after 20 years of non use?

    He has no road access so started talking about opening up the lane again but I shot that down as it is at the opposite side of my field from his land and he’d have to cross my field anyways. I’m also not keen on letting him drive vehicles across my field and through livestock and come and go as he pleases.

    I rang the solicitor to see where I stand but he’s away for a few days so waiting for him to contact me.

    What trouble could I cause for myself if I let him cross my field? Do I have any legal obligation to him?

    My field is marked in red, his in blue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭Girl Geraldine

    he can apply to the court to register a right of way. He will be awarded some right of way, over somebody's land because at the end of the day, he still does have a right to access his land even if it does not bound onto a public road.

    So long as the proposed right of way is a reasonable one, then he will in all likelihood be granted it. ie, if the ROW he proposes is the route with the shortest distance to cross land to get to his from the road, then he will get it . If is is proposing to cross 500m of your land, when he could access it by crossing just 100m of some other fellas land, then he might be denied it, unless he could show that for whatever reason, the 100m route in the other fellas field was not feasible (maybe there is a river, cliff, mature woodland etc).

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,076 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    Blowing him out , given the prior, was not the wise move.

    He will get a ROW and best to do it as per this

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,689 ✭✭✭lefthooker

    In that event is an access road either inside my ditch or inside my neighbours ditch the likely outcome?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,689 ✭✭✭lefthooker

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,076 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    does lane open onto the road

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 233 ✭✭Stephenc66

    You say "He used to acces his plot by means of a short lane way into my land and then hug the headlands across 3 small fields till he reached his land."

    Is this something you know to be so from your own knowledge or is this something that he has told you he did?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,689 ✭✭✭lefthooker

    He told me he used the small lane and an old workman confirmed he used the lane and went by the ditches. But it could have been 40 years since he did that according to the workman. If you look at the picture you can see where he would have come in the short lane on the RH side to get into the inner fields and then followed the ditches into the top of his land.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,689 ✭✭✭lefthooker

    No not any more. Over the years between my neighbour on the RH side tinkering and the council doing road work and maintenance they’ve built up a clay ditch where the lane met the road. You’d need a digger to break your way into the lane today.

    I know the man has a right to get into his land but I shot down opening the lane as a pointless exercise, it’s no different to me opening road gate for him. He still has to drive across my land. I suggested he’d need a access road from me or the neighbour on the LH side but he seemed more interested in getting a digger in before establishing an access route. I’m just concerned if I let him in across my field without having something proper in place I’m allowing him to establish a new ROW across my field.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,409 ✭✭✭cjpm

    If he hasn’t used it in over twenty years it is probably dormant and he’ll be relying on a judge to grant him a new one.

    The shortest distance looks to be through the triangular field on the left of your place. Maybe he should ask that neighbour……

    Don’t let him do a thing on your land until you have advice from a GOOD solicitor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,895 ✭✭✭funkey_monkey

    As per @cjpm advice - say and do nothing until you have spoken to a knowledgeable solicitor. I'd also be making sure it is access for agricultural purposes only, if possible.

    If your road access is at the right hand side of that long rectangular field then you are increasing compaction and reducing productivity of a significant portion of your land. Might be best to see if he can get access via the triangular field belonging to the other neighbour, but it would be easier for him to reestablish it through your land.

    Does anyone in your family remember this fella or his family having access rights? Is it in your deeds?

    You'd also need to ask your solicitor about your public liability responsibilities if this is reactivated.

    Shared access & RoW are a complete pain in the hoop.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,437 ✭✭✭Furze99

    Strange affair, he must be fairly getting on in years if you've never seen him previous. Living in general area or away for years? What does he propose to do with this scrub/ bog land? Bit of a difference between cleaning it up for agricultural use or selling as a site for a house.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭Anto_Meath

    Check out to see if there is any ROW either shown across your land or into this land in particular. For €5 you can get a copy of the foilo for this land and that will tell you a lot about what currently exists regarding access to this land.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,689 ✭✭✭lefthooker

    The man is in his 70’s and has lived about 15kms away in the nearest town. He didn’t say what his plans were only that he wants to tidy it up.

    When I was telling my mam about him she said he did the same thing back in the early 80’s. The land was overgrown back then too and he went in to tidy it up. He then approached my dad to buy it but was asking way above the market value so my dad declined. It looks like he just walked away from it then and left it go back to its overgrown state.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,235 ✭✭✭StevenToast

    Youre in your 40s.......I would 100% offer to buy that off attached to pay a premium for it also....its worth more than market value to you....

    Ask him would he be interesting in selling it to you....let him come back with a figure.....

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭Lime Tree Farm

    Quote of the day - I love it

    everyone likes to get a bargain but nobody wants more than they bargained for

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,689 ✭✭✭lefthooker

    In my own head I think that’s where this might lead. I’ll have to wait till he comes to me again to find out what his true plans are.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭DBK1

    If you can afford it or are in a position to buy it then it would be the best option.

    As Anto_Meath said the first thing to do is pay the €5 to land direct and get a copy of the folio. If the row is marked on it then you may have to admit defeat. If it’s not marked on it you can politely decline to allow him access and it will be up to him to decide what he wants to do then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,515 ✭✭✭Lime Tree Farm

    The registered ROW's on folios are coloured yellow.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭AnF Chuckie egg

    Talk to a solicitor. A row will not necessarily be granted just because he needs one. It could be a case where access to that field was part of another holding that got sold off. If that was the case then he can't get a new row even if it dates back over 100 years

  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭Girl Geraldine

    A court would almost certainly grant him a right of way in some fashion. Maybe not the one he wanted, or his first choice, but he will certainly get some form of RoW if he wants and applies for it. There would have to be a very very good reason and very perculiar circumstances where a court would say to him, " no you cannot have a right of way to access your land". It might even be unconstitutional for a court to make a ruling that would outrightly prevent someone from accessing their property which is fairly and squarely owned by them.

    Whether it be over OPs land, or someone elses, if he wants a RoW, he will be granted one through the courts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 113 ✭✭AnF Chuckie egg

    Not if there was an another access route to the land in the past. A new one will not be granted that takes a different route.

    If it was as easy as you make out then I could sell off my road frontage and go to court to get access to my place through the neighbours land.

    Doesn't happen

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    Look up old ordinance survey maps,they are represented by dotted lines