Republic of Ireland Law
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1. At the outset, a County Council may extinguish any public right of way within their jurisdiction. The County Council does not have to own the land on which the public right of way exists in order to do this. Provided the necessary notice requirements are placed in the appropriate newspapers, the extinguishment of the right of way is effective in law to end that right of way for all purposes. It does not matter how long the right of way has existed. It can still be extinguished by the County Council. As part of that jurisdiction, the County Council are fully within their power to "close" that right of way or to authorise other third parties to close the right of way by, for example, physically placing obstacles in the area that constitutes the right of way. There are two to three such cases in each County Council area each year. At the end of the day, apart from engaging in the consultation process and making representations through your County Councillor, there is little that a member of the public can do to prevent such extinguishment happening.
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You seem to missed out on the most important part of my question. The Council has claimed that there are 'legal impediments in relation to ownership' that prevent it from carrying our the physical closure (i.e. the land through which the public the public right of way passes is not in the ownership of the Council.) Your answer seem to contradict this claim by the Council. The road, the footpath and the green area (that form the right of way) are still in the registered ownership of the Builder. Either the Council is not being truthful in relation to the legal impediments or your answer is incorrect. The public right of way has already been extinguished. The Council has authorised a third party to close the right of way but is adamant that there are legal impediments to the Council itself carrying out the closure itself. The legal impediments have to do with the ownership of the land. I would be grateful if you would clarify this matter. There is a lack of logic here.
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