or should that be hill-walking suburbanites? Anyway, junior minister Tim O'Malley has been in the local Limerick Press bemoaning the Labour party's proposal that walking access be granted automatically to land that is not being farmed over 150 metres to hill walkers and their ilk. Strangely, the attack from Tim bemoaned the interests of hill walkers from the suburbs overruling those of rural Ireland. This from a man who comes from and lives in a suburban area of Limerick city.
What makes it all the more odd is that anyone familiar with the lie of the land in Limerick would know that it ain't the most mountainy of places. I had a quick look at my ordnance survey map and barring a few hundred acres of the Slieve Felim mountains (a disputed zone with Tipperary I've been given to understand from my sources with the Premier county regime) there ain't a helluva lot over the suggested height of 150 metres.
So why is a minister complaining about something that isn't going to affect any of his constituents? Perhaps the minister was thinking of the Clare hills which as it turns out are in Clare or maybe he thinks that this is a appropriate topic for him to pronounce on in his capacity as minister for Mental Health. Could he be of the view that hill-walkers are not in the best of mental health irrespective of their physical well-being? Does he think it is grounds for detaining participants for their own well being?