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Watersports Funded in New National Outdoor Recreation Strategy

28th November 2022
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys in Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co Kilkenny, where she marked the official opening of Ardra loop walk and Arboretum walk as part of a 14 million euro government to develop adventure tourism, including wild swimming and kayaking, as part of its national outdoor recreation strategy
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys in Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co Kilkenny, where she marked the official opening of Ardra loop walk and Arboretum walk as part of a 14 million euro government to develop adventure tourism, including wild swimming and kayaking, as part of its national outdoor recreation strategy

The Government is investing 14 million euro to develop adventure tourism, including wild swimming and kayaking, as part of its national outdoor recreation strategy.

The five-year strategy was published by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys in Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co Kilkenny, where she marked the official opening of Ardra loop walk and Arboretum walk.

“Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors” was developed in partnership with Comhairle na Tuaithe and is described as a "collaborative cross-Government strategy that reflects the views of stakeholders and the public".

Her department said the new strategy will “set the stage to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the outdoor recreation sector in Ireland for years to come, bringing huge economic and health benefits to communities across the country”.

“The pandemic awakened a new discovery to explore amongst the Irish public,” Ms Humphreys said.

“Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors” was developed in partnership with Comhairle na Tuaithe and is described as a "collaborative cross-Government strategy“Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors” was developed in partnership with Comhairle na Tuaithe and is described as a "collaborative cross-Government strategy

“When we were confined to our counties or we could only meet friends and family outdoors, we gained a new found appreciation for the unique amenities we have on our doorstep whether it’s our forest parks, our mountain trails, our rivers, our greenways or our stunning beaches,” she said.

“Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors is about building on this momentum. It is about the strategic development of Ireland’s outdoor recreation sector so we can deliver maximum benefits to communities across the country,” she said.

Over 2.7m overseas visitors have been taking part in outdoor activities every year in Ireland, she said.

“Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors” aims to take a more “cohesive approach to the development of outdoor recreation infrastructure at both a national and county level”.

As part of the strategy, new outdoor recreation committees will be established in every county to “ensure there is a focused and strategic approach to the development of local amenities”.

Ms Humphreys announced €14m for the development of 59 outdoor recreation amenities and to support outdoor pursuits such as hiking, mountaineering, kayaking, and cycling.

Among the projects being funded include:

  • Clare: Cliffs of Moher North Coastal Walk - Repair and upgrade of a looped section of the Cliffs of Moher North Coastal Walk - €500,000
  • Wexford: Kilmore Quay Recreation Trail - Develop cycle path along the canal, completing a looped walking trail plus footbridge and carpark - €500,000
  • Longford: North Longford Rebel Trail - North Longford Rebel Trail Phase 2 - Monaduff to Ballinamuck - €500,000
  • Wicklow: Roundwood Recreation Area - Provision of a bike hub, bridge, signage, waymarking and promotion of Roundwood Recreation Area - €495,000
  • Donegal: Carrigart to Downings Walkway - Develop a section of walkway between Carrigart and Downings - €500,000
  • Waterford: Cappoquin Railway Bridge Loop Walk- Phase 1 - Develop Cappoquin Railway Bridge Loop Walk between Millwheel Park and Rowing Club Grounds - €500,000
  • Laois: River Erkina Community Blueway - The development of a floating pontoon and access at Castle Durrow Demesne, a foot bridge on the River Goul at its confluence with the River Erkina, carpark and access at the Woodenbridge and access steps at Boston Bridge - €191,728
  • Tipperary: Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir Blueway - Upgrading of 20km Suir Blueway Tipperary between Clonmel & Carrick-on-Suir - €450,000
  • Roscommon: Lough Key, Doon Shore and Boyle Canal/River - Installation of accessible for all kayak/canoe easy launch systems in Lough Key, Doon Shore and Boyle Canal/River - €199,800
  • Galway: Creggs Mountain Walk Develop Creggs Mountain Walk – an element of Beara-Breifne Way & Suck Valley Way - €200,000
Published in News Update
Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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