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Home : Emergency News and Information : Clearing of Footpaths



Clearing of Footpaths by Householders and Business Owners

In periods of severe weather it is not possible for Kildare County Council to treat all roads and footpaths.  The priority for the Council is to keep the main routes in the county, which carry the larger volumes of traffic, open.

Following concerns expressed, by some householders and business owners, in relation to liability, advice was sought from the Office of the Attorney General.

The advice received is that liability does not arise for snow that is cleared in a safe manner on footpaths or in front of premises.  Commercial property owners in particular should make sure that they have adequate supplies of salt in place to ensure the safety of employees and visitors.

In relation to people gritting or salting their own roads with salt or grit supplied by the local authorities, the legal advice is that the issue of liability does not arise where the material is delivered, stored and used in a safe manner and does not cause a hazard

Tips on clearing ice and snow

  • Clear ice/snow early in the day.  Loose snow is easier to remove than hard snow which has packed together from people walking on it
  • Use salt or sand,  NOT water.  If you use water to melt the snow, it may refreeze and turn to black ice which is invisible and very slippery
  • Take care where you move the snow.  When you are shovelling snow, take care where you put it so it doesn’t block people’s paths or drains
  • Prevent slips.  Pay extra attention to steps and steep pathways.  You may need to use more salt on these areas