PRESS RELEASE: Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces over €16 million for 69 projects in Ireland’s great outdoors

MEDIA RELEASE: Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces over €16 million for 69 projects in Ireland’s great outdoors

Tuesday June 4th, 2024

  • Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces over €16 million for 69 projects in Ireland’s great outdoors
  • Investment in our Greenways, Blueways, Forest Parks & Cycling Facilities
  • Big focus on Outdoor Adventure Tourism ahead of the Summer Season
  • New walking trails established for the first time
  • Access points for kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming and other water based activities

·Minister Humphreys: ‘Our beautiful outdoors have never been more available to us than today’

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today, announced a €16.1 million investment in outdoor recreation projects right across the country.

With the Summer Season upon us, this investment from Minister Humphreys will see a huge investment in Outdoor Adventure Tourism.

Right across the country, there will be funding for projects such as our Greenways, Blueways, Forest Parks and Cycling Routes.

New walking trails will be established for the first time, along with projects that will support outdoor sports such as kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming and other water-based activities.

In announcing the huge investment in outdoor projects, Minister Humphreys said:

“Our beautiful outdoors have never been more available to us than today. With the summer months upon us, now is the time to enjoy the wonderful amentities right on our doorstep.”

Among the projects being funded today include:

  • Belmullet Tidal Pool, Co. Mayo: €295,974
  • Boyne Valley to Lakelands Greenway Enhancement, County Meath: €200,000
  • Ardmore Beach Walkway, Co Waterford: €500,000
  • Durrus Coastal Walkway, Co Cork: €200,000
  • Lough Boora Discovery Park, Co Offaly: €500,000
  • Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk, Co. Clare: €500,000

Other projects include:

Kilrush Wood River Walk & Cycleway, Co. Clare: €165,420

MacManus Estate, Rossylongon, Co. Donegal: €200,000

Ballyseedy Wood Amenity Trail, Co. Kerry: €200,000

Castlecomer Discovery Park Bike Trail – Co. Kilkenny: €500,000

The Ryder Cup Way – Co Limerick: €399,983

· Donamon Outdoor Recreation Area Development – Co. Roscommon: €500,000

This investment announced today further underpins the Government’s commitment to developing our outdoor amenities as part of ‘Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors’, the national outdoor recreation strategy.

On the impact of today’s funding, Minister Humphreys stated:

“This investment from my Department brings the overall allocation under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) to over €129 million since the Scheme was first launched in 2016.

“It is testament to the positive impact ‘Our Rural Future’ continues to have on communities all over Ireland and Government’s commitment to that policy.

“The times of lock downs are thankfully behind us but those times gave us all an appreciation of what our stunning outdoors had to offer us for our mental and physical wellbeing.

“It gives me great satisfaction to see the work my Department does to ensure that our rural communities can benefit even more from what nature has to offer.

“Our world class outdoor amenities continue to make rural Ireland the place to be for adventure tourists as well as those who appreciate a more sedate pace of life. These projects are spread throughout the country, so everyone can avail of the outdoors.

“Some of the planned investment, which is taking place all over the country, will enhance existing visitor attractions while providing new opportunities to experience our wonderful coastal landscape.”

The announcement today will benefit local communities with new or enhanced outdoor facilities while also helping to support local economies by continuing to offer domestic and international visitors an attractive and exciting array of outdoor amenities.

This funding will be invested in 69 larger scale outdoor recreation projects, bringing the total number of projects funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, since its establishment in 2017, to over 1,650 nationwide.

These projects under measures 2 and 3 are to receive funding of up to €200,000 and €500,000 respectively, and will be delivered by July 2026. This announcement today is in addition to the €2.3m which was announced in November 2023 for 50 projects under the Project Development Measure of ORIS and €4.1m approved under measure 1 earlier this year.

Minister Humphreys concluded by reiterating her commitment to supporting outdoor recreation:

“The 69 projects that I am announcing today will be there for all of us, from all walks of life and all abilities.

“These excellent projects will add to Ireland’s now large pool of world class amenities and will help to achieve the goals of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy – Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors.

“I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to get out there and embrace our great outdoors and make the lived experience of our country better for us all.”

Details of all projects are available here.



The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-773 6843 / 086-461 8285

[email protected]

Note to editors:

Our Rural Future

Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas.

This announcement will mean that since 2016, over €128m has been invested under Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) supporting over 1,772 projects.

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) provides funding as follows:

· Measure 1: Small scale repair/development/promotion and marketing (up to €30,000 grant available)

· Measure 2: Medium scale upgrade and new trail/amenity development (up to €200,000 grant available)

· Measure 3: Large scale repair/upgrade and new strategic trail/amenity development (up to €500,000 grant available).

· Project Development Measure: Development costs for strategic large scale Measure 2 or Measure 3 type projects e.g. detailed design, preparation for the planning and/or procurement, appropriate assessment etc. (up to €50,000 grant available).

Funding of up to 90% of the total approved project costs is awarded, with the additional 10% to be provided from other sources.

Following consultation with local communities, project applications are submitted from Local Authorities and State Bodies for Measures 2 and 3.