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Fancy a stroll? Walkways and trails around Ireland are getting an upgrade

Nearly 80 projects have been approved for funding.

Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny - one of the areas receiving funding.
Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny - one of the areas receiving funding.
Image: Shutterstock/PHB.cz (Richard Semik)

WALKWAYS, TRAILS and some outdoor recreational facilities around Ireland are to be developed and upgraded. 

Nearly 80 projects have been approved for funding, which will see some well-known recreational areas around the country enhanced. 

Examples of the projects which have been approved include:

  • The Great Arch Trail from Pollet to Fanad Head in Donegal
  • The development of an outdoor activity hub in Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny
  • The development of a pedestrian walkway from Cashel to the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey in Co. Tipperary
  • The development of a walkway/cycleway at Mallow Castle grounds in Co. Cork
  • The development of the Boyne Greenway in Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Other projects include the development of a bike sharing docking station in Carlow, which received €20,000, the development of a footpath and cycle path from Drumlish to Monaduff, and also from Mosstown to Keenagh. 

The development of footpath and cycleway along the Ramparts-Blackwater river walk in Dundalk is also getting funding of €200,000.

In Wicklow, the Vartry Reservoir Walks and Car Park is to be extended at a cost of €157,705, while the well-known tourist spot, Glendalough is getting a boost with St Kevin’s Way getting upgraded at a cost of €160,000. 

The full list of projects can be viewed here

Tourism and local communities 

In total, almost €11 million has been announced for the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, which is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development. Fáilte Ireland is providing €3 million of the total being allocated today.

Orla Carroll, Director of Strategic Development with Fáilte Ireland said one their strategic objectives is to ensure that the economic benefits of tourism are spread regionally across the country.

She said quality visitor experiences and the enhancement and further development of Ireland’s recreational tourism offering provide social benefits to local communities.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring said recreational tourism is a growing part of Ireland’s tourism offering.

“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. This is generating income for rural areas and helping to create more jobs in the hospitality and leisure sectors.

“Figures available from Fáilte Ireland reveal that in 2017, 26% of all overseas tourists engaged in some level of hiking or cross-country walking. This equates to 2.3 million tourists, spending an estimated €1.3 billion during their stay in Ireland. A further 451,000 overseas tourists took part in cycling activities,” he said. 

He added that local communities are also using these trails in large numbers, citing a survey of users on the Waterford Greenway, Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking trail, showing that almost two-thirds of users are local people.

“The continued development of our recreational infrastructure will not only support Ireland’s developing rural tourism industry, but will also provide better recreation options for local people and families for their own enjoyment of the countryside,” added the minister. 

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