Castleblayney councillor Aidan Campbell has welcomed the allocation of €500,000 towards the upgrade of walking trails on Black Island, Lough Muckno in Co Monaghan.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, today launched 'Embracing Ireland's Outdoors - an ambitious and transformational National Outdoor Recreation Strategy.
Elsewhere in Co Monaghan €79,962 has been allocated to the upgrade and development of Angling and Boating Facilities at Rahans Lake in Carrickmacross, meanwhile €200,000 worth of funding was allocated to phase two of recreational enhancements at Dartrey Forest.
In Arvagh, Co Cavan almost €95,000 euro was allocated to the development of a new 5km hill walking route. Speaking to Northern Sound, Fine Gael's Aidan Campbell said today's announcement will be a huge benefit to all local areas involved:
Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors was developed in partnership with Comhairle na Tuaithe and is a collaborative cross-Government strategy that reflects the views of stakeholders and the public.
The new strategy will set the stage to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the outdoor recreation sector in Ireland for years to come bringing huge economic and health benefits to communities across the country.
In a statement to Northern Sound, Minister Humphreys said, "The pandemic awakened a new discovery to explore amongst the Irish public. When we were confined to our counties or we could only meet friends and family outdoors, we gained a new found appreciation for the unique amenities we have on our doorstep whether it’s our forest parks, our mountain trails, our rivers, our greenways or our stunning beaches.
"Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors is about building on this momentum. It is about the strategic development of Ireland’s Outdoor Recreation sector so we can deliver maximum benefits to communities across the country.
"Those benefits are huge. Spending time outdoors supports our mental and physical health and it improves our quality of life. There also huge economic benefits, particularly for rural communities, with over 2.7m overseas visitors taking part in outdoor activities every year in Ireland.
"Through this Strategy – I believe we can make Ireland the destination of choice internationally for outdoor recreation and adventure tourism."