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Rural communities ‘benefit’ from €16.1 million investment – minister

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Rural communities 'benefit' from €16.1 million investment – ​​minister

Today (Tuesday 4 June) the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced a €16.1 million investment in outdoor recreation projects.

This investment aims to see a “huge investment” in Outdoor Adventure Tourism. The funding will go to Greenways, Blueways, forest parks and cycle routes.

Minister Humphreys said:

“Our beautiful outdoors has never been as accessible to us as it is today. With the summer months just around the corner, now is the time to enjoy the beautiful amenities right on your doorstep.”

The minister added that new hiking trails will be built, along with projects such as kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and other water-based activities.

This funding will be invested in 69 large-scale outdoor recreation projects, bringing the total number of projects funded by the department to more than 1,650 nationally.

These projects under measures two and three will receive funding of up to €200,000 and €500,000, and will be delivered by July 2026.

Minister Humphreys said rural communities taking advantage of what nature has to offer gives her “great satisfaction”.

“Our world-class outdoor amenities continue to make rural Ireland the place to be for adventure tourists, as well as those who appreciate a slower pace of life,” the minister added.

Among the projects being funded include:

  • Belmullet tidal pool, Co. Mayo: €295,974;
  • Boyne Valley to Lakelands Greenway Enhancement, Co. Meath: €200,000;
  • Ardmore Beach Walkway, Co. Waterford: €500,000;
  • Durrus Coastal Walkway, Co. Cork: €200,000;
  • Lough Boora Discovery Park, Co. Offaly: €500,000;
  • Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk, Co. Clare: €500,000.

Minister Humphrey said this investment brings the total allocation under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) to over €129 million since the scheme was first launched in 2016.

She added that it is a “testament” of the positive impact that the ‘Our Rural Future’ policy continues to have on communities across Ireland.