Minister Michael Ring visits rural projects in Co. Louth

Minister sees impact of work supported by his Department

Minister Ring opens new playground at Cooley Kickhams GFC, Co Louth

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, today (Thursday 22 March), visited a number of projects in Co. Louth which are supporting rural regeneration and which have benefited from funding from his Department.

As part of his itinerary, the Minister paid a visit to The Market House in Dunleer, a 19th Century house which has which has been renovated by the Dunleer Community Development Board for community and corporate use.

Minister Ring said: “Through funding provided by my Department under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the energy efficiency of The Market House has been upgraded, along with the provision of catering facilities to service the needs of those attending training in the centre.”

To date projects in Co Louth have been approved for funding of over €1.155 million under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, including €200,000 in funding for a number of projects in Dunleer such as the renovations to the Market House.

While in Louth, Minister Ring also opened a new playground in Cooley, Co Louth which has been part-funded by his Department under the CLÁR programme.

At the opening, the Minister said: “My role as Minister for Rural and Community Development affords me the opportunity to engage with people around the country and see the results of the work of many local communities.  Partnership and community involvement is vital in all areas of life, and that partnership and community spirit has been evident in the small rural towns and villages across the country in recent years under initiatives such as the CLÁR programme, the Rural Recreation Scheme, and the Town & Village Renewal Scheme. This playground in Cooley is an excellent example of partnership between the Local Authority, the local community and Kickham Gaelic Football Club, working together to see this project to completion.”

The Minister added: “I recently launched a new round of CLÁR funding for 2018, which will again provide supports for play areas as well as safety measures in and around schools and community buildings.  The €5 million fund will also provide funding for First Responder supports in CLÁR areas, which have experienced high levels of population decline.  As we can see here in Cooley, a modest level of investment in projects under the CLÁR programme can have a big impact in improving the lives of people who live in the community.

Ends

Notes for Editors

CLÁR

The CLÁR programme (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) is a targeted capital investment programme for rural areas which have experienced significant levels of depopulation.  The programme was originally launched in October 2001 but was closed for applications in 2010. The scheme was re-opened by Minister Michael Ring in 2016 to support the development of remote rural areas through small-scale capital projects involving collaboration between Local Authorities and communities. The CLÁR programme has supported 900 projects across Ireland since 2016 and is an important part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.

Areas targeted under the CLÁR Programme are parts of counties: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wicklow and all of County Leitrim. A map of CLÁR areas is provided below.

Co. Louth has received €419,000 under the CLÁR programme since 2016.

2018 CLÁR programme

The Minister launched the CLÁR 2018 programme on 15 March, with €5 million in funding available under three measures:

Measure 1:   Support for Schools/Community Safety Measures
Measure 2:   Play Areas
Measure 3:   First Response Support Measures

The programme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is delivered, for the most part, by the Local Authorities in consultation with local communities.  Proposals will be submitted to the Department for consideration and approval.

Relevant application information has been sent to local authorities and the information can also be found on the website of the Department of Rural and Community Development at www.drcd.gov.ie