Minister for Rural Development Heather Humphreys made the announcement.

Funding boost for Offaly peatlands communities project

An Offaly project is to receive almost €50,000 in funding as part of a €2.3m national allocation to support the development of 50 outdoor adventure projects across Ireland.

The €49,500 funding is being allocated to Offaly County Council for a project entitled 'Peatland Communities of Offaly: Quality of Life, Place & Experience'.

The project involves the provision of technical support for communities to identify cluster opportunities for linking tracks, trails and recreational amenities in the peatlands.

Meanwhile, Laois County Council is to receive €44,280 for a project at Derryounce in Portarlington on the Offaly/Laois border.

The funding is for the completion of a feasibility study for the potential development of the Derryounce Amenity Area.

The funding under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) was announced today by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys.

The scheme is focused on helping to enhance outdoor amenities such as walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

The 50 projects nationwide each receive funding of up to €50,000 to bring them to a shovel-ready stage. Once at a shovel ready stage, they will be in a position to secure further funding through the other measures of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “We’re now heading into the darker days of winter and it’s more important than ever to make the most of those precious daylight hours by getting out and about when you can.

“The funding I’m announcing today will support the further development of our hiking trails, water based activities and other amenities making them even more enjoyable places for families to visit nationwide.

“These amenities are here for us all to enjoy. I would encourage everyone who can to get out and about, and make the most of what our countryside has to offer.”