‘Why is walkers’ access to the Gobbins Path being blocked?’

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On a recent visit I was barred from walking down the Gobbins Path by not only one but two farmers’ gates. One gate had a sign stating that the path was private property.

As a resident of Islandmagee, this is the first time in over 30 years that I, as a member of the public, have been banned from walking down the path. I was unaware that this land was owned by local farmers. People within the community I have spoken to have also been surprised at this and have always considered it a right of way for the public.

I am aware that in the near future, if everything goes according to plan there will be a regeneration of the area, costing a considerable amount of money. It does seem a little strange, therefore, that after all the years of public access that somebody at this particular time has decided to claim ownership of the existing path in a very visible manner.

I hope the public and the council are not going to suffer as a result of this blocking of access. There is a lot of money at stake for everybody concerned, but surely the public have the right to use the current Gobbins Path until all the issues are resolved.

On numerous occasions I have been stopped by many tourists seeking directions to visit the path, but obviously I will no longer be able to do so.

This situation does not create a great advertisement for future potential visitors to the area.

Concerned Local

(Name and address supplied)