The Department of the Environment through the medium of the National Parks and Wildlife Service has banned jarveys-who fail to use dung-catching devices for their horses-from Killarney National Park. It said the majority of the more than a million visitors to the park annually walked the roads and that it had received numerous complaints about the mounds of horse dung, which litter the roadways. The Department argues that the dung is a health hazard and is aesthetically unpleasant. Jaunting car operators must have a required horse ″dung catcher″and licence.
The ″horses with nappies row″ shows no signs of resolution. The jarveys in Co Kerry claim that the move would put the safety of passengers at risk as the device would aggravate horses.Killarney National Park remains open to everybody else.
This dispute will undoubtedly provide plenty of fodder for comedians. However it has its serious side. Jarveys are dependent on a rather short tourist season for their income whilst the wider economy in Co. Kerry may suffer another blow in an already poor tourist season. This may prove to be a very bitter and protracted dispute.Image from Killarney National Park