Local politicians have welcomed Wednesday’s news of funding totalling over €575,000 for seven different projects in Co. Roscommon. The funding has been awarded under the Government’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme and will benefit projects in Elphin, Castlerea, Boyle, Monksland, Portrun, Ballyleague and Ballyfarnon.
Minister Denis Naughten said the announcement was a “vote of confidence for local community groups.”
He added: “This investment in local communities will support local job creation and provide a much needed boost to the economy of the towns and villages in Roscommon that have been awarded this vital funding. I want to thank Minister Ring for listening to my concerns and for his assistance in progressing these particular projects.”
Senator Frank Feighan said the funding was a “great boost for local economies. The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is an important part of Fine Gael’s work to rejuvenate and revitalise rural Ireland and should have a significant impact on towns and villages across the country.”
Fellow Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins was also pleased that local projects would benefit but stressed “it was only the start of the work which needs to be done” across Roscommon in order to support economic recovery.
“The projects approved include Ballyfarnon Community Centre and Courthouse having secured €91,200; Ballyleague Marina having received approval for €78,000; the Scattered Hotel project in Boyle has received €100,000; an Chistin Food Hub – Castlerea Enterprise Hub has secured €100,000.
“Elphin has been approved €100,000 for refurbishment of former secondary school to allow for it to be developed into a training and enterprise hub. Monksland has secured €56,292 in order to allow for enhancements works on the community park. Portrun has been approved €50,016 to allow for development of a new slipway and heritage trail,” she said.
Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice said he was “delighted” with the news An Chistin is to receive €100,000 towards further development at the Hub in Castlerea. Cllr Fitzmaurice said it would “bring extra enhancement to the building and ensure further enterprise at the building.”
Reacting to news that Monksland would benefit to the tune of €56,292, Cllr. John Naughten said the funding was most welcome and would bring a range of benefits to the community.
“This funding will be used to remove the existing bring banks, which are located close to the playground, and replace them with underground bring banks to facilitate the development of a community park.
“The community park is a much needed recreational facility that will provide a social meeting point for local residents. The park will add to the attractiveness of Monksland while also providing benefits for local businesses through additional visitors to the park.”
Meanwhile, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice was embroiled in a war of words with Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring yesterday. Deputy Fitzmaurice said he believes the funding was only a drop in the ocean of what’s required to rejuvenate rural Ireland.
Minister Ring hit back, stating that Deputy Fitzmaurice had declined the opportunity to go into Government and vowed to “fight for rural Ireland” before dismissing the criticism of his department.