Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed that more than €170,000 has been allocated to three Clare projects from the latest round of funding under the LEADER programme.

€140,764 was approved for the construction of the Michéal O’Hehir Community Room which will incorporate a youth space, meeting rooms and toilets at Clondegad GAA grounds. The project is being undertaken by the Ballynacally Youth Facilities Development Committee at a total cost of €187,685.

The Clare Local Development Company will receive €22,050 to conduct energy audits and give advice to community groups and businesses in relation to the use of renewable energy. The overall cost of the project is €24,500.

€12,452 was allocated to Declan Walsh, Moveen East, Kilkee towards the €24,905 cost of repairing a drying shed and other farm improvements to facilitate the growing of hemp for hemp oil extraction.

“As chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Community and Rural Affairs, I am delighted that Clare projects represented almost ten per cent of the latest round of Leader approvals. It reflects great credit on the Clare Local Development Company staff who helped co-ordinate the applications,” Deputy Carey said.

“This follows a significant expansion of activity since the introduction of a range of measures to make the programme work better for both potential applicants and for the LEADER Local Action Groups which deliver the programme on the ground.

“LEADER funding represents an enormous opportunity for rural businesses and communities that are in need of investment and it’s great to see the programme continuing to grow and make a difference for rural Ireland over the coming years,” Deputy Carey added.