Minister Michael Ring visits rural initiatives in Connemara

Minister Ring Vists Connemara West with Minister Kyne and Hildegarde Naughton.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD today visited the north west Connemara communities of Letterfrack, Tullycross and Moyard in County Galway. Minister Ring’s visit focused on projects which are being supported through his Department as part of the Action Plan for Rural Development as well as local rural development initiatives and educational institutions.

 Minister Ring’s visit was hosted by Galway West TD and Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources, Sean Kyne. The visit was also attended by other Oireachtas members and by Members of Galway County Council including the Cathaoirleach, Eileen Mannion.

Minister Ring said: “Today’s visit to Connemara has given me an insight into how vibrant communities working together can help improve local areas and how targeted Government investment can support them in their work.

“I was delighted to turn the sod on a new footpath in the community of Tullycross for which I allocated funding under my Department’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme. I also recently allocated €80,000 under the same scheme for a harbour-side public park in Clifden and I look forward to the realisation of both projects. Over €1 million was allocated to 13 projects in Co Galway under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme in 2017.

Minister Ring turns the sod in Tullycross. with Minister Kyne

“I was also honoured to meet the Letterfrack Tidy Towns Committee, a group which is doing excellent work on behalf of the community. From talking to the group today it is clear that it is about more than competing for trophies. It is about working together to make Letterfrack a great place to live in and visit. I recently announced a €1.4 million grant scheme to mark 60th anniversary of the Tidy Towns competition this year. This has provided a boost to hundreds of Tidy Towns groups around the country.

“I had a very insightful visit to the International Residential Education Centre in Tullycross. I also visited Connemara Carpets in Moyard which is great local employer and which has in the past received support through the LEADER programme which comes under my Department.

“I was delighted to visit Ellis Hall which is a superb community hub in Letterfrack and met with representatives of Connemara West. I was delighted to meet with members of Clifden Chamber of Commerce who are doing a superb job in helping to generate economic activity and create jobs locally.

“There are 10,396 less people on the live register in the County Galway today than in 2012 when the then Government launched its Action Plan for Jobs in 2012. That’s a 46% decrease in local people signing on. I’m glad to note that the decrease in the live register in the Clifden area is 47%.

“I would like to thank my colleague, Minister Sean Kyne TD and to the Cathaoirleach, Eileen Mannion for hosting me today and I look forward to returning to Connemara to see projects which the Government has invested in coming to fruition.”