Ireland will boast one of Europe’s largest national parks after the government bought a huge parcel of mountain land outside Dublin.
In a deal with the state’s toxic assets agency, Nama – set up to deal with the property crash – almost 5,000 acres in an area known as the Featherbeds will come into public ownership.
The lands – above the Glenasmole Reservoir, which serves the capital – will be added to the Wicklow Mountains National Park, expanding the popular hiking and wildlife attraction to 22,000 hectares.
Nama had reportedly been asking €2.5 million (£2.1 million) for the land.
Announcing the purchase, Regional Economic Development Minister Michael Ring did not disclose the price paid but claimed Nama acted in the national interest.
“The Featherbeds are an important area for nature conservation and for public amenity,” he said. “Their acquisition ... is a sign of our enduring commitment to preserve our natural heritage.”