Fine Gael Minister of State Joe McHugh has welcomed the announcement of €99,441 in funding to support rural recreation projects in County Donegal, with a number of them located in Inishowen.
Minister McHugh said: “My Fine Gael colleague Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring announced the provision of funding totalling €4.455 million for rural recreation projects as part of the Government’s programme to support rural development.
“The funding will facilitate the development of new recreational facilities and the maintenance of existing recreational infrastructure across 75 projects throughout Ireland.
“Here in Donegal it will support a number of key projects, including: Sli An Earagail €6,710.00; Sli Thorai €1,942.50; Sli Na Finne €4,490.00; Sli Na Rossan €5,305.00; Sli Gabhla €2,042.50; Sli Aran Mhor €2,406.00; Inch Wildfowl Reserve €2,800.00; Kinnegoe Bay Access €4,085.00; Inishowen Head Loop €4,585.00; Burtonport Old Railway Walk - Muckish to Falcarragh Section €5,120.00; Glenevin, Urris and Butler’s Glen €5,525.00; Sli Cholmcille €7,385.00; Carndonagh Woodland Walk €8,070.00; Gartan Walks €7,525.00; Inland Fisheries Ireland- Slí na Finne, Gweebarra €31,450.00
Minister McHugh added: “The importance and popularity of recreational pursuits in the Irish countryside continues to grow and develop and there is great potential to benefit our rural economy here in Donegal. These groups and projects funded help to promote and encourage the development, delivery and improvement of recreational projects, and develop, improve and promote other outdoor recreational activities.”
“Figures from Fáilte Ireland reveal that in 2014, close to 1.2 million visitors to Ireland took part in hiking or cross country walking and spent in the region of €915 million in the Irish economy during their stay. Meanwhile 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. It is clear that they must continue to be supported.
“Investment in recreational facilities has a proven effect in boosting local economies here in Donegal and assisting in the creation and retention of employment in the hospitality, tourism and services sectors. Today’s announcement comes just weeks after the Government launched a new €10 million Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of its programme for rural development.