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Written Answers - Landowners Liability

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 302.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will clarify a matter (details supplied) regarding landowners liability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6275/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan The liability of a landowner in relation to a person engaging in a recreational activity on their land, if an accident were to occur, is governed by the provisions of the Occupiers Liability Act, 1995. This Act provides definitions of recreational activity and outlines the duty of care of a landowner or occupier to entrants onto their land, including recreational users.

The Occupiers Liability Act, 1995 was introduced to address the question of the exposure of landowners to claims arising from injuries to recreational users and others including trespassers. The Act defines categories of entrants onto land and specifies the duty of care owed by occupiers. An occupier is anyone in charge of a premises such as the owner or a tenant. Under the Act there are three categories of entrant: visitors, recreational users and trespassers. The duty of care owed by the occupier of land to recreational users and trespassers under section 4 of the Act is a duty not to cause injury intentionally and not to “act with reckless disregard” for their safety. A higher duty of care is owed to visitors. A landowner charging recreational users for entry (as opposed to a reasonable charge for parking) increases his/her duty of care to that owed to visitors. A report of by an Expert Group established to examine and make recommendations on The Legal Issues of Land Access for Recreational Use is available on my Department’s website ( FileDownLoad,27109,en.doc). This report provides additional information and clarification regarding the Occupiers Liability Act.

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