Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed that three Clare projects have been approved for almost €200,000 in funding under the latest phase of the Outdoor Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme.

The development of walking trails at the People’s Park in Clarecastle; the extension of the river walk in Ennistymon and the provision of a looped woodland trail in Tulla will not only enhance community life but will also attract visitors to the area, Deputy Carey said.

“I am delighted to announce that €49,500 has been allocated to Clarecastle Community Development, Clarecastle Tidy Towns and the Clarecastle/Ballyea Heritage and Wildlife group for the development of walking trails and enhancement of the People’s Park in the heart of the village.

“The proposed works will include the provision of a new boardwalk and outdoor teaching area, footpath upgrade to encourage and promote movement through the park, signage and bollards, CCTV, park lighting and a biodiversity area,” he explained.

“€75,000 has been allocated to Tulla Soccer Club and the Tulla Courthouse and Community Development group for the Cragg Looped Trail project, which involves the construction of a 300 meter woodland walkway.  It is proposed to have outdoor gym equipment at a number of locations along the route, one of which will be wheelchair friendly. Trail lighting will also be incorporated in the scheme to ensure that the facility can be used all year round.

“The Ennisymon and District Community Organisation will receive €69,000 to upgrade and extend the River Walk. The voluntary group has already completed a significant amount of work in the area including the provision of a pedestrian bridge over the river.

“As Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development, I firmly believe that the continued development of our recreational infrastructure will not only support Ireland’s rural tourism potential, but will also provide a diverse range of recreation options for local communities,” Deputy Carey explained.

“Recreational tourism is a growing part of Ireland’s tourism offering, and 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.

“I am delighted that the Department of Community and Rural Affairs has extended the scheme to include areas where local people have instigated and supported such worthwhile developments,” Deputy Carey concluded.

Photo shows Deputy Joe Carey (centre) with Christy Leyden of the Clarecastle Tidy Towns Committee and Cllr Paul Murphy at the People’s Park in Clarecastle.