I want to welcome the significant funding announcement for County Clare today as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative. The allocation of €300,000 is one of the highest made, significantly higher than other counties such as Kerry, Kilkenny and Cork for example.

This money is to be used to maximise job creation in the short term and to have a tangible benefit for local tourism.
In County Clare, the money will provide for improved walking and cycling infrastructure in Kilkee, Ennis, Lahinch, Kilrush and Shannon.

I also want to congratulate Clare County Council for putting suitable projects forward and ensuring that County Clare maximised our potential in relation this funding.

I believe the whole area of green tourism is one we in County Clare can exploit and benefit from. We have the natural landscape and need to ensure now that we are doing all we can to cater for walking and cycling groups who may want to visit. With strategic investments like the one announced today, we can continue to add to our tourist product.

The Jobs Initiative is part of this Government’s commitment to tackle our unemployment levels. In recent weeks we have seen relaxing of employer’s PRSI and the introduction of a nationwide internship programme. Here in the Mid-West, our tourist product is vital for the economic prosperity of the region. In that context this funding is particularly welcome.