THE law requiring a permit for commercial photographers using Killarney National Park as a backdrop for their work is a long-standing arrangement and there has not been a change of policy on the issue, it has been stressed.
Housing, Local Government and Heritage Minister Darragh O’Brien – who has responsibility for the park – said there is “absolutely no substance” to recent claims that newly married couples are not permitted to take their wedding day photos in Killarney National Park.
“There has been no change of policy introduced in respect of the treatment of commercial photography in the national park,” he stressed.
“Photography by the general public and amateur wildlife photography is permitted within the park. All commercial events, including professional photography, wedding, promotional, fashion, etc, is subject to a permit system. This has been the case for quite some time,” Minister O’Brien stated.
He was responding to a written query on the matter from Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae who has welcomed confirmation that wedding couples can have their photographs professionally taken in Killarney National Park, despite claims to the contrary.
The matter had been raised by his brother, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae and the Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Marie Moloney, who had been contacted by wedding photographers claiming that they had been approached by park rangers seeking permits and that it was upsetting for the brides and grooms on their big day.
A number of wedding photographers and wedding party members have also contacted KillarneyToday.com to complain but they are reluctant to go public with their concerns in order for business reasons.
They said they are aware that there has been a demand for permits to be obtained in advance but they don;t agree with it as the park belongs to the people and there are international commercial bloggers using the park for photographs and videos who do not have to seek permits.
Minister O’Brien said a permit has long been required for both insurance and indemnification purposes and it is incumbent upon the professional photographer to apply for a current permit which is readily and quickly available.
“It is a very simple process for the professional photographer to complete and permits apply for the year. The staff of my department will always accommodate photographers and work with them to ensure safety for all at the national park,” he stated.
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said he is delighted that the long-standing tradition of couples taking wedding pictures in Killarney National Park will continue on to another generation.
“This is great news as I have received a lot of calls from worried couples but my advice to them now is to keep smiling for the camera on the most important of days,” he said.