Over €7 million in funding to support 175 community projects was announced by Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys.
Sports clubs, schools and community groups will receive grants of up to €50,000 to develop facilities in rural areas such as outdoor cinemas, artificial turf pitches, sensory gardens, hurling walls , basketball courts, footbridges and public restrooms.
Among those who have received funding are the Drumkeeran GAA club in Co Leitrim to build a walkway around existing facilities and grounds, and the Camross Community Association in Co Laois to develop a riverside amphitheater.
A sensory garden with wheelchair access in County Donegal is also to be provided, as is a community cinema and a drop-in center for young people in County Galway. Funding has been approved to build a basketball court in Clashmore, Co Waterford and an outdoor handball court in Cooley, Co Louth.
Funding is provided through the Clár program under the government’s Our Rural Future initiative. There are designated Clár areas in all counties except Dublin, Kildare and Wexford.
Ms Humphreys said every community was “different” and “the people who know best the needs of their city, town or parish are the people who live there”.
“It is precisely for this reason that I have expanded the scope of the Clár program this year to allow for a much wider range of eligible projects,” she said. “The response from communities across the country has been overwhelming and this is demonstrated by the diversity and variety of successful projects under this year’s program.”
Ms Humphreys said that given the “overwhelmingly positive” response from communities, she was exploring the possibility of providing additional funding for a second tranche of projects under Clár.
The full list of those to receive funding is available at https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/dafa3-clar-programme-successful-measure-2-applications/.