Min­is­ter turns the sod on new walk­way in Clon­akilty

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Noel Baker

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.

Pic­tures: De­nis Mini­hane

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.

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