More than €6.6 million in tourism capital funding for nine projects has been confirmed by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, during a visit to tourism sites in Co. Clare.
The funding is being allocated to projects under Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Capital Investment Programme, with a focus on outdoor activities. Minister Varadkar made the announcement during a visit to the mid west region, which will benefit from three projects with grants of €3.2 million.
Speaking at the announcement, Minister Varadkar said the funding will develop Ireland’s growing status as an outdoor activity holiday destination. ‘Tourists are always on the lookout for things to do. Many want to experience our beautiful scenery through either walking or cycling’, he said.
“These grants will enhance destinations like the Burren, the Clare Glens and Spike Island. Walking and cycling play to our strengths as a holiday destination. The easier we make it for participants, the more attractive Ireland becomes as a destination.
“The Mayo Greenway has been a great success, and these extensions will make it even more attractive. The investment in Limerick builds on King John’s Castle and the river boardwalk, and helps re-orientate the city towards the River Shannon, its greatest natural feature. Walking and cycling facilities along the eastern shore of Limerick’s quay will open up this area. The funding will also open up the riverfront and the surrounding city, including attractions like the Hunt Museum and King John’s Castle.
“Derrynane House in Co. Kerry was home to one of the greatest figures in Irish history, Daniel O’Connell. The new works there will help people to visualise what the house was like when he was alive, and bring to live that crucial period of our history.”
The projects were approved by the Fáilte Ireland Authority, subject to compliance with a number of specific requirements of Fáilte Ireland prior to the signing of a grant contract.
Projects receiving funding
Derrynane House, Co Kerry
Funding of €1.22m has been approved for works at Derrynane House in Co. Kerry, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, to secure the building and ensure it continues to meet the requirements and demands of modern tourists. The main focus of the new presentation of the house will be an emphasis on presenting the house in a style similar to how it would have been in O’Connell’s time. The works will include measures to make Derrynane as accessible as possible to all visitors while at the same time protecting the historical integrity of the site. The works will be phased over the next 2 to 3 years and, where possible, will be completed outside of the traditional tourism season.
Burren Heritage Trail, Co Clare
Funding of up to €51,315 has been approved for a series of heritage walking trails which will add value to the existing walking and cycling product in the Burren. Looped trails will be developed in association with landowners and a range of agencies such as the Walks Scheme, National Parks and Wildlife Service, National Monuments Service, Clare County Council and Shannon Development. The seven identified sites are Carran, Doolin, Fanore, Flaggy Shore (New Quay), Kilinaboy, Lisdoonvarna and Lough Bunny. Each of these locations has been identified because they offer easy access to an interesting variety of landscapes and culture.
Doolin Cycle Hub, Co Clare
Funding of €10,000 has been approved towards the further development of the existing cycle route in Doolin, County Clare. The funding will be used to provide additional signage and information boards at various locations, which will be of benefit in terms of both user safety and visitor information.
Clare Glens Amenity Area, Co Tipperary
Funding of approximately €120,000 is being provided to enhance the Clare Glens Amenity Area thereby improving facilities for visitors. This will involve upgrading footpaths and toilet facilities, as well as the provision of play equipment, picnic tables, and litter bins. Safety handrails will also be installed and map/information board provided. Improvements will also be made to the main entrance to make it more accessible.
Nenagh Cycleway Signage, Co Tipperary
Funding of just over €12,700 is being provided for the further enhancement of the existing North Tipperary Cycle Network which is centred around Nenagh. Following a recent review of the operation and the usage of the network it has been acknowledged that there is a requirement to provide further additional signage and information boards at various locations around the routes. The signage is required for safety and provision of information.
Great Western Greenway: Cycleway to Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo
Funding is being provided with a grant of just over €830,000 to develop a cycleway to Croagh Patrick which will include a two way, traffic-free walking and cycling path along the R335 from the Great Western Greenway, at Westport, to Belclare where it will link with the existing Murrisk to Belclare path.
Riverside improvements in Limerick
Funding of €3.15 million for the development of a trail between Shannon Bridge and Sarsfield Bridge along Howley’s Quay, which is the next stage of the Limerick Riverside Improvement Strategy. The upgrading includes the installation of boardwalks, the development of a performance area, other street furniture and infrastructure. The work will enhance the riverside product further and will provide connectivity between all three River Shannon Crossings in the City for walking and cycling purposes.
Great Western Greenway: Castlebar to Islandeady Link, Co Mayo
Funding of approximately €950,000 is being provided to link existing tourism infrastructure, the Greenway and the Castlebar walking loops. The funding will include the development of a linear route to connect Castlebar, via Islandeady, with the Westport Cycle Network and the Greenway and also establish a link onto the existing Castlebar walking loops.
Spike Island Walk, Co Cork
€256,000 has been approved for the development of walks around Fort Mitchell on Spike Island. The walk will follow a route around the perimeter of the fortification, Fort Mitchell, and will have a total length of 1.61km. The route will have a compacted surface which will be suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. It will be complemented by information boards to tell the story of Spike Island, the wider harbour, and the history of the various buildings on the Island. The areas around the walk will be fully landscaped and a play area will also be included for families.