‘Harnessing Natural Resources Project will enhance Geopark,’ so stated West Cavan Fianna Fáil Councillor John Paul Feeley as he warmly welcomed funding twenty-six projects across the Geopark Region of West Cavan and West Fermanagh under Harnessing Natural Resources Project from INTEREG 4A. A number of other projects in County Leitrim have also been included in the Project.
‘This type of money is not easy to find, even in the best of time. The work of the various local authorities and statutory agencies and the input of some local organisations, under the leadership of the Cavan County Enterprise Fund has secured exceptional funding for this region.’
The fund, totally € 3.064554 million will support 26 projects across counties Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh and involves a partnership between Cavan and Leitrim County Councils, Fermanagh District Council, Coillte, Inland Fisheries Ireland and other state agencies and draws from the work of various community groups. The funding is made up of 75% from the EU with the remaining 25% contributed by the Stormont Executive and the Irish Government. There is no local contribution to the various projects.
‘These projects, from the largest, being the transformation of Dowra Courthouse into a Rural Development Centre with funding of € 488,211 to the smallest for Belcoo Cottage Meadow with funding of € 17,416 all make an impact, improving facilities for the local community but also enhancing our tourism product. In the context of the Geopark, the investment of over € 400,000 in the Marble Arch Caves Visitors Centre and the huge investment in various walking and cycling trails from Killykeen Cycle Trail, Blacklion Village Tail (€ 45,348), Gowlan Loops Walks (47,208) to County Fermanagh with investment in Claddagh Glen, in Rusheen, Garrison and further investment at attractions such as Magho Cliffs, Lough Achork and Lough Navar all make a huge difference.’
Of course the Geopark does not stand alone and the investment in angling facilities with lakes such as Glencar Lake, Lough Doon and Corrigeencor and Lough Allen all in County Leitrim and Derrycasson Lake insure that this element of our tourism product is not forgotten,’ stated Councillor Feeley.
Investing in facilities such as the Sliabh an Iarainn Centre in Drumshanbo and Glenfarne Forest Amenity though outside the Geopark all enhance the region, for locals and visitors alike,’ stated Feeley.
Vincent Reynolds, Chief Executive of Cavan County Enterprise Board, all his staff, Eilish McLoughlin of the West Cavan/West Fermanagh Project, working in conjunction with the other stake holders made huge efforts to put this project in place. Margaret McEvoy, Project Manager will, working with the local communities set about completing projects in the coming year.
Concluding, Councillor Feeley noted the work of Brendan Smith TD, when Minister in putting in place the Government contribution to make this long awaited announcement possible.