Local walking trails and other outdoor amenities are set to receive a boost after it was announced this week that over €179,000 in funding will be provided to a number of local projects under the Outdoor Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme.
The funding was announced in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The news was warmly welcomed by local public representatives, including Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan, who said: “As Minister with responsibility for the Healthy Ireland framework, I am delighted to see continual investment into walking and cycling infrastructure across the country.
“Walking is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier and these walkways are vital to help people in rural areas to stay fit and keep well”.
Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy commented: “This is a most welcome announcement. Now more than ever during these difficult Covid times we all realise and appreciate the importance of using our walking trails and cycle lanes to keep fit and get outdoors for fresh air as it is extremely important for both physical and mental health. People are appreciating facilities and amenities in their own areas now which is fantastic”.
Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan said the funding “will support more development of free outdoor activities for families and all in the community. We also need to ensure that these routes are accessible and age friendly. A walk or cycle for thirty minutes a day can really give a boost in these anxious times so do explore your local area”.
Meanwhile, Independent TD and Chair of the Dáil Committee on Community and Rural Affairs, Denis Naughten, said: “This is just the first phase of the allocation of funding for walking trails and further funding will be allocated for much larger projects by Minister Heather Humphreys over the coming weeks.
“This investment is part of a far bigger plan to promote our area to tourists as part of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and it will also make East Galway and Roscommon more attractive locations for industrial investment”.
Local projects to receive funding include: Aughrane Forest, Ballygar (€17,685); Frass Clooncon Bog, Glenamaddy (€18,000); Lismany Kylemore Boardwalk, Ballinasloe (€20,000); Lismany Kylemore Trail, Ballinasloe (€20,000); Boyle to Lough Key Cycleway (€20,000); National Famine Way, Strokestown (€20,000); Video marketing campaign, Co. Roscommon (€20,000); Visitor monitoring equipment, Co. Roscommon (€20,000); Miner’s Way and Historical Trail, Una Bhan Tourism and Roscommon Leader (€15,127.58); Granlahan Loops, Roscommon Leader (€8,280.36).