Sport Ireland Statement on Wicklow Way Appeal

Sport Ireland welcomes the decision of the High Court to uphold the National Parks and Wildlife Service’s appeal against a finding that it was liable for injuries suffered by a hill walker on the Wicklow Way walking trail. Sport Ireland views today’s decision a positive one for recreational and physical activity in Ireland.

Sport Ireland Trails supports the development of recreational trails in Ireland by maintaining a national trails register and administering a public liability insurance policy for private landowners on registered walking trails.

The majority of Ireland’s developed trails are developed with the permission and support of landowners, and without this support many walking trails would not exist.

Sport Ireland places a particular emphasis on encouraging participation in physical activity, with the most recent Irish Sports Monitor Report showing that recreational walking remains the most popular activity with more than two in three adults taking part at least once in the previous seven days.

The impact on the individual’s health, coupled with the undoubted social, community and economic benefits they bring, means trails form an important part of Ireland’s rural landscape and as such it is vital that they are developed and promoted.

Sport Ireland has moved to reassure all private landowners who permit waymarked trails to be developed across their land that a public liability insurance policy exists to provide cover to them, as occupiers once the trail is registered with Sport Ireland Trails. This policy also provides covers to landowners who are involved in the monitoring and upkeep of trails.

Sport Ireland would like to acknowledge all public and private landowners for their continued support for local walking trail developments around the country and their continued support is necessary for many of these amenities to remain open. 

Further information on Sport Ireland Trails can be found on