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Cathaoirleach welcomes funding for outdoor projects

The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Tony O’Brien, has welcomed the announcement of funding of €171k for seven outdoor amenity projects in County Clare.

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The projects were included in a recent funding announcement by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, of almost €6 million to develop 200 outdoor adventure projects across rural Ireland.

The Department of Rural and Community Development highlighted that the investment, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will be key to enhancing our outdoor amenities such as our walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

It will also provide a major boost to local economies by attracting visitors and furthering our reputation as a destination for adventure tourism.

As part of the announcement, almost €4.3 million will be used to improve some 163 outdoor amenities across the country. Each project will receive up to €30,000 to support their enhancement.

Furthermore, funding will also be invested in 37 outdoor projects that are currently at the early stage of development. These projects are to receive funding of up to €50,000.

The seven projects in Clare, which will receive a total of €171,132 in funding, are:

Cullaun Lake Amenity works: Development of a community area at Cullaun Lake, Kilkishen – €20,102

Doon Lake Amenity Development (PDM): Design and planning for development of lake amenity at Doon Lake – €22,304

Ennistymon: Development of a looped walking trail – €15,508

Kilnamona Walking Trail: Creation of a new walking trail adjacent to Kilnamona GAA complex – €28,975

Kilrush Forest Trails: Link the cycle routes from Kilrush Town Centre and along the nearby coastal roads – €21,207

O’Brien’s Bridge Riverwalk: Improvement to Errina Canal trail surface in O’Brien’s Bridge – €13,036

River Fergus Walk & Cycleway (PDM): Plan and prepare for River Fergus Walk & Cycleway – €50,000.

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “We’re at the height of the Summer and whatever the weather I know families are getting out and enjoying Ireland’s great outdoors.

“The funding I’m announcing today will support the further development of our greenways, blueways and hiking trails making them even more enjoyable places for families to visit.

“Every county will benefit from today’s announcement so if you’re a walker, a swimmer, a cyclist or even a fisherman – check out the list to see what’s happening in your county.

“Getting active in the fresh air outdoors can be a tonic for the body and soul and this was brought home to us all during the pandemic.

“Some of these amenities are often hidden gems on our doorsteps so I’m encouraging people to get out and discover them over the rest of the Summer.”

Welcoming the funding for County Clare, Cllr Tony O’Brien, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said: “Seven local projects can now be undertaken in County Clare as a result of this funding announcement. These are projects that can bring economic and social benefits for the communities in question and collectively they will enhance the outdoor recreational offering in the county. I would like to thank the Minister and her Department for making this funding available and I look forward to the projects progressing.”

Director of Rural Development at Clare County Council, Leonard Cleary, said: “Investment in our outdoor amenities helps to promote social interaction and improve the health of our communities. These projects will increase recreational opportunities and will attract visitors to our lakes, trails, walkways and cycleways. The projects will benefit a number of locations in the county.”

Minister Humphreys added: “Over the last number of years my Department has provided unprecedented investment in our outdoor amenities, underpinned by our most ambitious rural development policy in decades – ‘Our Rural Future’.

“Outdoor recreation tourism is a growing sector internationally, and has the potential to have major economic spin-off benefits for our rural towns and villages.

“My Department is at an advanced stage of developing the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy which will underpin this investment and give it a platform for further growth.”

Details of Measure 1 projects and Project Development Measures announced by Minister Humphreys are available here.

Funding for larger scale projects under Measures 2 and 3 of the scheme will be announced by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.

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