THE development of a walking trail on the Loop Head peninsula and upgrading of the Shannon Looped Walks are among the five Clare projects that will benefit from an allocation of more than €400,000 to rural recreation schemes in the county.
Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said the fact that Clare had secured the second highest allocation of the 20 counties included in the €4.5 million scheme was an indication of the national importance of the Clare tourist industry and its outstanding record of innovation.
“Clare County Council has been allocated €255,625 for the Shannon Looped Walks while the Clare Local Development Company will get €68,415 for Costal Trail Guide training at the Cliffs of Moher; €58,952 for the Loop Head walking trail; €16,520 for the development of a trail monitoring app and €4,536 for maintenance of the Cliffs of Moher Coastal Trail.
“The importance and popularity of recreational pursuits in the Clare countryside continues to grow with significant benefit for the county’s economy. Last year, almost 1.2 million visitors to Ireland took part in hiking or cross country walking and spent in the region of €915 million during their stay,” Deputy Carey explained.
“Investment in recreational facilities has a proven effect on the creation and retention of employment in the hospitality, tourism and services sectors in Clare. This latest announcement comes just weeks after the Government launched a €10 million Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of its programme for rural development.
“Fine Gael is committed to supporting Rural Ireland and I am committed to ensuring that the support is felt here in Clare. We are working to ensure that the economic recovery reaches all parts of the country and the benefits are felt inside every doorstep and in every community,” he said.