Gallagher welcomes enactment of law to remove problems affecting rights of way

Published on: 02 December 2021


  • Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2021 comes into effect today

  • Averts ‘legal cliff-edge’ due to take effect immediately after 30 November

  • Reforms law on prescriptive easements and profits à prendre


Local Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher  has welcomed the passage and enactment of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2021. The Bill completed its passage through both Houses of the Oireachtas on Wednesday 24th November, and was signed into law by the President on Friday 26th November. The Act comes into operation today, Tuesday 30th November.


It repeals a number of changes to the law on prescriptive easements and profits à prendre, under the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009, which were due to take effect on Wednesday 1st December.  


Senator Gallagher said, “I’m delighted to welcome the timely enactment of this urgent legislation. I have raised this numerous times in the Seanad.  It averts a legal cliff-edge that was due to occur on 1st December, when major changes to the law on private rights of way, and other prescriptive rights, were due to come into effect.


“I know that those impending changes have been causing worry and stress to many people, with farmers and homeowners at risk of losing important rights that have been enjoyed for many years without dispute. This Act repeals those changes, and protects acquired rights and acquired years of use. ‘’ 


Common examples of prescriptive easements include:

- a right to use water or sewerage pipes, running under a neighbour’s land,

- a right of support between adjoining buildings that have different owners, or

- a private right of way to access your home, or field, over a laneway that runs across your neighbour’s land. 

Serious concerns had been raised by stakeholders, including the Law Society and the Bar Council, about the changes that were due to take effect on 1 December 2021.