Minister turns the sod on new walkway in Clonakilty
The minister for rural and community development has turned the sod on the new walkway that will link Clonakilty with the West Cork Technology Park.
Michael Ring visited the site of the proposed walkway while on a tour of different projects around West Cork that have received funding from his department.
It began with a visit to the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which the minister said was a model for other towns to follow. It has been allocated €150,000 through the department’s Town and Village Renewal Scheme, its first state funding.
Later, the minister visited Drinagh to lay the foundation stone for the new village plaza which has been allocated €80,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
The plan will also incorporate traffic calming measures, paths and landscaping and will be rolled out in three phases, due for completion in 2018.
Future plans include an outdoor gymnasium and the development of Drinagh Lake.
In Clonakilty, Mr Ring had a meeting with the Tidy Towns committee which secured the overall best small town award in the National Tidy Towns competition.
Mr Ring also visited the Michael Collins House museum in Emmet Square in the town, before going to the site of the proposed walkway and cycleway, which was recently allocated €100,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
Justin England of Cork County Council said it is hoped the first phase of the cycle route and walkway would be completed by June.
Mr Ring said the benefits of the project were manifold, including as a tourism product and for the health and wellbeing of the local population.
“I know it will be used by the local community,” he said. “We are very lucky in this country that we have volunteers who give of their time. If you did not have them in our society we would have a serious problem.”
He also urged the local authority to ensure that it spent all the money allocated for various projects so as to not jeopardise the overall budgets handed out in the coming years, to which the mayor of Co Cork, Cllr Declan Hurley, said: “We will spend it — and we’ll be back for more.”
Mr Ring also joked that when the cycleway and walkway is completed, it may be his ministerial colleague Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe who opens it, but he wanted everyone to remember that he turned the sod — and, for photographic purposes, turned it three times.
Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring with members of the Clonakilty Tidy Towns committee during his visit last week, after they secured the overall best small town award in the National Tidy Towns competition.
Minister Jim Daly, his father Jerry with Minister Michael Ring, and Jim’s brother Diarmuid.
Kevin Lynch, Pat Ryan, Ruth O’Brien, and MacDara O hIcí, Cork County Council officials, in Drinagh.
At the sod turning for the Clonakilty walkway were Frank, Anne, and Amy Beechinor, Denis and Catherine Kingston, and Cian Murphy.