Minister Ring announces €8 million for greenways, walking trails and other recreational projects

Published 20 November 2018

18 projects to be supported under Measure 3 of Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme

Michael Ring, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (Tuesday) announced that he has approved over €8 million in funding for 18 strategic projects under the 2018 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Projects being supported as part of today’s announcement include:

  • A walking/cycle track on a disused railway line between Clifden and Oughterard, Co Galway
  • A new cycle corridor from Lough Key Forest Park to the town of Boyle, Co Roscommon
  • A coastal walking route from Youghal Town Centre to Red Barn in Co Cork
  • The development an 18 acre municipal park in Killeens, Co. Wexford

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure and the maintenance, enhancement and promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in Ireland.

The grants being announced today will support a mix of large scale repair and upgrade measures and new strategic trail development measures, with grants of up to €500,000 each under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Making the announcement today, Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to announce funding of €8.14 million to 18 projects that encapsulate the diversity of work that is ongoing across the country to provide high quality recreational infrastructure for visitors and locals alike.  The projects which I am approving today range from innovative mountain bike trails in Sligo, to developing an 18 acre municipal park in Wexford.

“The funding also includes support for the development of a walking/cycle track along the existing disused railway corridor between Clifden and Oughterard in Galway, as well as an iconic trail over 19km along the southern edge of Clew Bay between Belclare and Louisburgh.

“In addition, funding will support the development of a new cycle corridor from Lough Key Forest Park & Activity Centre to the town of Boyle, assisting it to realise its tourism and economic development potential.

“Recreational tourism is a growing part of Ireland’s tourism offering, and we have seen an increase in the number of Irish and overseas visitors enjoying the many greenways, blueways and walking trails which have been developed around the country in recent years.

“The funding which I’m announcing today builds on €1.8 million which I allocated earlier this year to 128 smaller scale local projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. Approximately €30 million has now been allocated to over 500 projects under this scheme since 2016 to improve walking trails, greenways and other recreational amenities for communities and visitors all over Ireland”.

The Minister added: “Local Authorities, State Agencies and communities have spent significant time and effort developing the project proposals over the last number of months and I am very happy to be able to provide the financial resources necessary to support so many projects, whether at local or regional level. I firmly believe that the continued development of our recreational infrastructure will not only support Ireland’s rural tourism potential, but will also provide a diverse range of recreation options for local communities to support their own health and fitness and enjoy the countryside with their families.  I will be making further announcements at a later stage in relation to mid-sized projects which have applied for funding under a separate strand of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”

Details of the projects being funded are available here:

Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2018.
Approved projects: Measure 3
County Lead Applicant Name of Project Description of Project Location of Project Amount Approved
Mayo Mayo County Council Clew Bay Trail Section 1C -Lecanvey to Bertra Proposing to develop an iconic walking and cycling trail over 19km along the southern edge of Clew Bay between Belclare and Louisburgh. Clew Bay, Co. Mayo €500,000
Kerry National Parks and Wildlife Service of DCHG Public Access to  Tomies Wood including car park This project will provide a new public access to Tomies Wood and will provide a car park for the users of the amenity. Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry €500,000
Kilkenny Kilkenny County Council Woodstock Activity and Recreation Trails All-season amenity trail, upgrading of existing paths and trails / tracks and linking of Inistioge Village to the Woodstock Estate & Gardens Woodstock, Co. Kilkenny €337,553
Roscommon Roscommon County Council Cycle Corridor from Lough Key to Boyle Town Centre The development of a new cycle corridor from Lough Key Forest Park & Activity Centre for cyclist and walker, to Boyle town Boyle, Co. Roscommon €500,000
Clare Clare County Council Lough Derg Blueway Amenity Trail and Looped Walks This is an amenity trail which involves the development of a new 5km path to a hard-core finish on the verge of the R465 from Bealkelly to Tuamgraney Bealkelly to Tuamgraney, Co. Clare €498,000
Galway Galway County Council Connemara Greeenway Project Upgrade the existing disused railway corridor between Clifden and Oughterard to accommodate walkers and cyclists. Clifden to Oughterard, Co. Galway €500,000
Longford Longford County Council Longford Town Royal Canal Upgrade Relates to upgrades and maintenance works on a section of the Longford Spur of the Royal Canal, between Harbour View and Churchland Bridge Longford Town, Longford €473,848
Monaghan Monaghan County Council (with Coillte) Rossmore Forest Park As a result of the development of a major Adventure Playpark in Rossmore, there is now a need to upgrade works to the access road, car park, develop other recreational aspects in the park and interpretation at key heritage sites in the park. Rossmore, Co. Monaghan €421,130
Westmeath Westmeath County Council Completion of Linkage of Grand Canal Greenway to Royal Canal Greenway The development of a greenway link along the former Kilbeggan Branch Canal for 13km and provision of a 1km line from the greenway which terminates at the harbour into urban core of Kilbeggan Town. Kilbeggan €500,000
Wexford Wexford County Council Min Ryan Park To develop an 18 acre municipal park at Kileens as a natural place for rest and relaxation, including 1km paved circulation track for walking / cycling. Killeens, Co. Wexford €500,000
Dublin Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Right of Way – Fernhill Park & Gardens DLRD Co Council acquired Fernhill in Dec 2014.  This project seeks to develop a right of way including fencing, surfacing, drainage, and other works, to develop Fernhill as a Gateway/Regional Public Park. Fernhill, Co. Dublin €400,000
Cavan Cavan County Council Belturbet to Lock 1 Corraquill Recreational Trail This is the second phase within Cavan of the larger Greenway project which extends from Belturbet, Co. Cavan to Dromod, Co. Leitrim. Belturbet to Corraquill, Co. Cavan €500,000
Kerry Kerry County Council The Dingle Way – Large Scale Path Repair Works & Ongoing Maintenance This proposal aims to enhance and develop the recreational walking infrastructure to international best practice standard. Dingle, Co. Kerry €208,446
Limerick Limerick City and County Council Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails Completion To realise the objectives of the master plan to improve and build on Ballyhoura’s reputation as Ireland’s premier mountain biking destination and provide for increased flexibility in the trail network. Ballyhoura, Co. Limerick €406,710
Sligo Sligo County Council Coolaney National Mountain Biking Centre To construct Phase 2 of 13.6km of trails for a national mountain bike trail centre. Phase 1 is supported with funding from the 2017 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. Coolaney, Co. Sligo €500,000
Meath Meath County Council Kells Walk / Cycle way on the Ring Road Provision of a Kells Walk/Cycleway along the N52 ring-road around the town of Kells. Kells, Co. Meath €500,000
Wicklow Wicklow County Council Avonmore Way Link Bridge To develop a new pedestrian bridge over the River Avonmore linking the Avonmore Way with the Jubilee Way. By connecting these two routes, recreational users can move safely from the Rathdrum Town to the National Park site. Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow €392,000
Cork Cork County Council Youghal Eco-Boardwalk Phase 2 Works to complete a costal walking route from Youghal Town Centre to Red Barn Youghal, Co. Cork €500,000
TOTAL €8,137,687



Note to Editors

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for 2018 provides funding under three separate measures:

  • Measure 1: Small maintenance/promotion of existing infrastructure (maximum grant €20,000)
  • Measure 2: Medium scale repair/upgrade and development of new small/medium infrastructure (maximum grant €200,000), and
  • Measure 3: Repair/upgrade and development of larger more strategic projects (grant between €200,001 and €500,000).

The announcement of successful projects under Measure 3 follows on from the announcement in September 2018 successful applicants under Measure 1, with €1.8 million in funding allocated to 128 small-scale projects.  Further announcements will be made in relation to Measure 2 projects when all assessments are completed.

Projects approved under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme will primarily be run by Local Authorities and State Agencies, and funding will be provided to a maximum of 80% of total project costs, with the balance to be provided from Local Authority or other sources.

Figures available from Fáilte Ireland reveal that in 2014, close to 1.2million visitors to Ireland took part in hiking or cross country walking. These activity tourists spent in the region of €915 million in the Irish economy during their stay. Similar statistics reveal that 286,000 visitors took part in cycling activities with a related spend of some €268 million. These two sectors combined generated revenue for the Irish economy in the region of €1.2 billion in 2014.