Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Snow-clearers can't be sued - Cowen

Property owners who clear snow from their footpaths will not be sued if someone falls, it has been confirmed

Property owners who clear snow from footpaths cannot be sued if someone falls, it has emerged.

The Attorney General advised people could not be held liable if they properly clear pavements, Taoiseach Brian Cowen said.

"If a pavement is cleared in a manner which disposes of snow so as not to create any obstacle or hazard, there is no issue of liability," the Taoiseach said. "So common sense prevails."

As the big freeze gripped the country earlier this year, there were fears people could be exposed to personal injury claims if they cleared pavements.

In January, Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said he was considering making people legally obliged to clear snow and ice from footpaths without incurring liability during severe weather.

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach said the country now has ample stocks of salt, with over 80,000 tonnes in reserve.

The National Roads Authority has obtained another 50,000 tonnes.

Mr Cowen said 60,000 tonnes are typically used between November and March each year.

"Of course we'll advise people to take public transport were possible," Mr Cowen said.

"It's important that we also look out for neighbours, particularly the elderly and ensure that they're looked after."

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