Four projects in Co. Roscommon are set to benefit following Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring’s announcement earlier this week that €641,554 will be made available through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund.
Sliabh Bawn Recreation Trails will receive €150,000, the Suck Valley Way will receive €92,131, Loughnaneane Park will benefit to the tune of €200,000 and €199,423 will go towards the development of a new cross river walkway in Monksland.
Independent TD Denis Naughten highlighted the importance of such funding.
“It is important to note that at the moment 700,000 tourists participate in hiking and cross country walking in this country, something that Roscommon has in abundance.
“The investment in these walkways, with the opening of Center Parcs in Ballymahon, has the potential to bring tens of thousands of tourists to all parts of County Roscommon,” he said.
Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy said the “eco-tourism funding would bring a fantastic boost to local tourism”, describing the Loughnaneane Park and Roscommon Castle as “one of the gems in County Roscommon”.
He added that he had engaged with Roscommon County Council CEO Eugene Cummins in relation to Sliabh Bawn Recreation Trails and was delighted that these works would now go ahead.
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins said it was “very positive” to see such projects receive Government funding. She added that it would further support the “strong tourism offering that we have right across the county”.
Fellow Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan described the announcement as a “massive boost” local tourism on the ground.
“More than €40 million has now been allocated nationally to almost 600 projects under this scheme since 2016 to improve existing and develop new walking trails, greenways and other recreational amenities for communities and visitors all over Ireland,” he said.
Cllr. Orla Leyden welcomed a “major investment of €200,000 in Loughnaneane Park” saying that it would “greatly enhance the facility for locals and visitors alike”. She also praised the work of the Roscommon Town Team and thanked Roscommon County Council staff for their work during the application process. She also welcomed further funding for the development of Suck Valley Way.
Cllr. John Naughten said the Cross River walkway funding would facilitate fishing, running and walking in the area.
“This is a naturally beautiful area and the addition of a walkway along the Cross River will be a welcome amenity,” he said.