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RichardAllen

Greenlaning in Ireland

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I have just been away for a fortnight with the my 90 camping in South-West Ireland and managed to fit in some gentle lanes along the way. I did some research before leaving, including joining a irish off-road biker's club (what motorcycle do you have ? A Defender), but made no progress in working out whether Ireland has an equivalent of a green lane.

So I waited until we were staying with an irish lawyer friend before going off-road. I was navigating using the Irish Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 on OziExplorer on an in-car laptop with GPS. I found the following which I hope will be useful to others:

1. The maps were pretty accurate, as good as the UK OS ones at that scale, save that for main roads, much new building has been done and the maps are a bit out of date.

2. Roads marked in yellow are equivalent to our minor roads, these were all accurately marked.

3. Roads marked in grey were rough tarmac roads, sometimes in poor condition, but passable by the average normal family road car such as a BMW X5 or Porsche Cayenne:o . In the mountains, it was often unclear whether or not the road was really the drive to someone's house, or not. However, they were accurately marked and we had no trouble driving them.

4. Roads marked in thin black dashes are rough tracks or footpath and accurately marked, these are what we took to be greenlanes

5. Paths marked in red dashes are specific long distance footpath routes, we only tried these where they coincided with a black dashed track.

We tried a few of the tracks/footpaths marked in black dashes. It was not clear even to my lawyer friend whether we have any right of way or not. However, there was no signage either way and his view was that no one would worry if we were sensible. So we applied the normal rules, especially driving slowly, closing gates behind us, stopping for all other users and being very courteous to everyone we met, and had a great time, with no mishaps.

It was clear that no one had driven the tracks we went down in a long time. There were, therefore, no ruts but no easy guidance either. Many of them were narrow with low rocks and had ditches on one or both sides, well disguised by long grass/bracken etc, so it was very easy to slip into a ditch. Fortunately, when this happened, proper and timely application of power got us out without making a mess of the track for eveyone else.

I would also add that it was generally wet, and the lanes were grass-covered. We were therefore very careful on the steep slopes to maintain momentum and traction when they got slippery. Overall, there was nothing we came across to trouble a 90 with anti-roll bars and a driver who has done a good course and had some practice.

The people we met seemed to enjoy the novelty of seeing a Jeep (as they seem to call all 4x4's) out in the wilds and were interested in whether we were able to get through or not. So we had no difficulty with people, but then they had not come across some of the hooligans we see.

I can recommend Ireland if you want to bumble along enjoying the scenery. If you want to tear around the place churning up mud and getting stuck, then I am disappointed that you are reading this thread and would ask that you stick to pay sites.

Regards

Richard

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Hi Richard,

Where were you specifically? I am as unclear about ROWs here in Ireland as you are. :huh:

In general people seem to go to specific sites to play.

Where I am, (East Coast) many areas of the mountain are closed with specific signs for no vehicles/quads/bikes as part of the mountain has been torn up. Pity really, as there are tracks that could be driven without destroying them.

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We were around the peninsulars of the far south-west: Ring of Kerry, Dursey, Sheep's Head and Mizen Head.

I only saw one specific "No 4x4's" sign, which was on a beach - fair enough. I did see another sign "No Hunting No Camping" on a gate across a track into the mountains which looked very inviting, but the gate was padlocked anyway, so again - fair enough.

I would guess that the overall pace of life and scarce population in the West allows some leeway for us, so long as it is not abused and all users are courteous with each other. Long may it be so, as my lawyer friend is about to buy a house down there, so we will be visiting regularly I hope.

Regards

Richard

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Have you seen this site: link

I have now; that site escaped my researches which cannot clearly have been that exhaustive. While Keep Ireland Open seems to be more for walkers and what in England (UK?) is Right to Roam it paints a bleak picture; oddly being worst in the West and not so bad in the East. However my experience in the West was OK, and Gromit's view (if I underestand correctly), is the the East is more difficult for 4x4's.

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There are no greenlanes in Ireland. They simply do not have any such thing. As such there is no legal right of way.

However due to the relaxed nature of the Guarda I think you're unlikely to get into an awful lot of trouble.

All the offroading that I have done in Ireland has been done on privatey hired sites - perhaps explains some of the immense distances the Irish are prepared to drive simply for a playday! KKK2 on here is very knowledgeable on this subject.

Jon

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