Killarney Jarveys Lose High Court Challenge

13 May

A group of jarveys who brought a legal challenge to a ban on them using Killarney National Park in a row over the use of dung catchers for their horses have lost their High Court Case.

Mr Justice Liam McKechnie ruled that the National Park and Wildlife Services was entitled to insist that the jarveys use dung catching devices as part of its duty to manage and maintain the park.

The judge also said it was a matter of regret that the jarveys had refused to operate the dung catchers even on a trial basis.

27 jarveys took the High Court action after being refused access to the park last year for refusing to use dung catchers on their horses.

They argued in court that the National Park and Wildlife Services had no power to ban them from the park.

They also argued that it was an attack on their property and personal rights, was discriminatory and infringed their constitutional right to earn a living.

The judge ruled against them on all points.

They had also argued the devices were unsafe and raised concerns for animal welfare.

However the judge remarked that the best way to prove their concerns on these issues was to use the devices on a trial basis in a controlled environment.

Mr Justice McKechnie said the NPWS had a duty to manage and maintain the park for the enjoyment of the public.

He said there was a much higher level of environmental awareness now than there was 20 years ago and those with responsibility for this had to respond.

He said tourists were much more discerning than in the past and the product being offered to them must reflect that.

He cited the potentially hazardous conditions posed by dung on hard surfaces of the park in the rain, the smell and flies, which all constituted potential problems for health, welfare and safety.

He also cited the potential problems for wheel chair users and buggies.

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