Cathaoirleach welcomes funding for outside initiatives


The Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Tony O’Brien, has welcomed the announcement of €171,000 in funding for seven outdoor projects in County Clare.

The projects have been included in nearly €6 million in funding recently announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, to develop 200 outdoor adventure projects in rural Ireland.

The Department for Rural and Community Development stressed that the investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will be key to improving our outdoor facilities such as walkways, cycle paths, rivers, lakes and beaches.

It will also greatly boost the local economy by attracting visitors and enhancing our reputation as an adventure tourism destination.

As part of the announcement, almost €4.3 million will be used to improve around 163 outdoor facilities across the country. Each project receives up to €30,000 to support its further development.

In addition, grants will be invested in 37 outdoor projects that are currently in an early stage of development. These projects are to be funded with up to 50,000 euros.

The seven projects in Clare, funded with a total of €171,132, are:

Culauun Lake Amenity Works: Community area development on Cullaun Lake, Kilkishen – €20,102

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

Ennistymon: Development of a circular walk – €15,508

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

Kilrush Forest Trails: Combine cycle routes from Kilrush city center and along the nearby coastal roads – €21,207

O’Brien’s Bridge Riverwalk: Errina Canal Trail surface improvement at O’Brien’s Bridge – €13,036

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

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “We are in the middle of summer and I know that whatever the weather, families are getting out and enjoying Ireland’s great outdoors.

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

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

“Being active in the fresh air, outdoors can be a tonic for both body and soul, and we’ve all been reminded of that during the pandemic.

“Some of these amenities are often hidden gems on our doorstep, so I encourage people to get out there and spend the rest of the summer exploring.”

Welcoming the funding for County Clare, Cllr Tony O’Brien, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said: “As a result of this funding announcement, seven local projects can now be implemented in County Clare. These are projects that can bring economic and social benefits to the communities concerned and together will enhance the county’s outdoor recreation offerings. I would like to thank the Minister and her department for providing these funds and look forward to the progress of the projects.”

Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development at Clare County Council, said: “Investments in our outdoor spaces help encourage social interaction and improve the health of our communities. These projects will expand recreational opportunities and attract visitors to our lakes, hiking trails, walking and biking trails. The projects will benefit a number of locations in the county.”

Minister Humphreys added: “In recent years my Department has made unprecedented investments in our outdoor facilities, backed by our most ambitious rural development policy in decades – ‘Our Rural Future’.

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

“My department is in an advanced stage of developing the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy that will underpin this investment and provide it with a platform for continued growth.”

Details of the Measure 1 projects and project development measures announced by Minister Humphreys are available here.

Funding for major projects under Actions 2 and 3 of the program will be announced by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.