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Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878 – Sect 54

We referred to a Dublin Corporation Bye Law of 1899 requiring the clearing of snow from the footpaths of the City of Dublin.

Here is what Section 54 of the Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878 says on the subject:

“54. [Where the [district council] do not themselves undertake or contract for The cleansing of footways and pavements adjoining any premises, the removal of house refuse from any premises, the cleansing of earthclosets, privies, ashpits, and cesspools belonging to any premises, [A district council] may also, and when required by order of the Local Government Board shall, make byelaws for the prevention of nuisances arising from snow, filth, dust, ashes, and rubbish, and for the regulation of the keeping of animals on any premises, or for the prevention of such keeping, so as to be [prejudicial to health].”

This legislation clearly states that the snow is a nuisance. It is a public nuisance if it is on the public pavement. If it is not cleared off by the adjoining occupier, it is being maintained by him/her. Consequently the occupier is answerable for injury sustained by passersby who fall on the snow.