Minister Ring approves €1.4 million to transport people in rural Ireland to medical services

Minister Michael Ring TD meeting with Irene McLoughlin, Glenisland; Martin Healy, VTC Castlebar, Western Care and Joan Carden, Reeling Street, Ballina on a visit to Western Care headquarters, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Photo : Keith Heneghan.

Published 2 October 2018

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, today (Tuesday), announced details of 27 applicants who will receive funding for Mobility and Cancer Care transport under his Department’s 2018 CLÁR programme.

The funding will support voluntary organisations in rural communities that provide:

  • Transport to/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/centres under the National Cancer Care Programme, and/or
  • Transport for people with significant mobility issues, including those requiring specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles, to day-care or other medical, therapeutic or respite services.

The scheme supports the purchasing and/or fit out of vehicles to transport people for medical services. It allows for allocations of up to a maximum of €50,000 for a wheelchair accessible vehicle or €100,000 for a bus.

Speaking today (Tuesday), Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to announce this funding, through the CLÁR programme, to support voluntary organisations that provide transport services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This funding will provide vehicles that will enable people living in rural areas to travel to medical care or respite centres free of charge.

“The difference which the provision of these vehicles will make to the lives of families in remote rural areas who have to attend day care or medical services is incalculable. Having access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle in your area can mean the difference between being able to avail of day care, respite and other services, or being confined to home. It’s as simple as that.”

Minister Ring continued: “The people who run these voluntary organisations do heroic work on behalf of the most vulnerable people in their community. Very often those involved with these groups have a family member who is unwell or living with disability. This investment will greatly benefit some of the more vulnerable members of our community and those who care for them.

“The provision of this funding is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to supporting rural communities, and comes on top of €10.3 million which I have already allocated under the CLÁR programme this year. I am delighted to be able to support voluntary groups who provide transport to our sick and vulnerable citizens in order to enable them to access treatment and services.”

Minister Ring concluded: “One of the strategic objectives of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy is to strengthen rural economies and communities. The CLÁR programme is helping to improve the quality of life in rural communities and is an important part of the Government’s integrated strategy for rural development which will also be supported through the new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. This Fund will provide an additional €1 billion to be invested directly into rural communities by my Department up to 2027.”


Notes to editor:

CLÁR provides funding for small scale capital projects in rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation. The programme forms part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development which was launched in January 2017.  The CLÁR programme is also an important part of the overall integrated strategy to support stronger rural economies and communities for Rural Development through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund as outlined in Project Ireland 2040.

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.

List of organisations approved for funding under Mobility and Cancer Care transport measure can be found at the following link:

CLÁR measure 4 recipients