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05 Jul 2022

Slieve Blooms and Portarlington share €160,000 for outdoor recreation

Neglect of Glenbarrow parking facilities at Laois Slieve Bloom beauty spot called out

Parking prblems at Glenbarrow have been highlighted by Gardaí

Parking problems at a Slieve Bloom beauty spot look set to be addressed while a popular Portarlington amenity are set to benefit from the latest round of funding to boost recreation outdoors in Laois and other counties.

Under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme Measure 2, €112,518 has been approved for the development of an overflow carpark at Glenbarrow, Rosenallis to improve accessibility to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

Parking has been an ongoing issue in the area a problem that became acute during Covid-19 travel restrictions when people flocked in large numbers to the Slieve Blooms.

Meanwhile, €50,0000 has also been approved for a development plan for the Derryounce Experience at Derryounce Lakes and Trails just on the Offaly side of Portarlington.

Laois/Offaly TD, Charlie Flanagan welcomed €362,500 is being allocated to outdoor recreation projects in Laois Offaly. He especially welcomed the money for the Slieve Blooms.

“This is one of the most popular walking amenities in Laois with ever increasing footfall. I was delighted to formally open the walk with Cllr Tom Mulhall some years ago and I have been seeking car parking funding to assist this fine amenity. I hope works can get under way as soon as possible," he said.

He added that the scheme is making a difference to rural areas.

“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has been crucial to the development of the recreation facilities enjoyed by growing numbers of locals and tourists in rural areas in recent years and will make rural Ireland a better place to live and work," he said.

The funding will also see €200,000 awarded to a new 400m river walk amenity along the banks of the River Brosna near  Clara in Offaly. 

The funding was also welcomed by Laois Offaly based Senator and Minister of State Pippa Hackett.

“Investment in outdoor recreation is vital for rural Ireland, both for the people who live here and the tourists who visit. We all need to get out into our forests, mountains, and bogs for the sake of our physical and mental health. Fortunately we are rich in such landscapes in the Midlands and I’m delighted to see €112,518 being spent on developing  an overflow car park at Glenbarrow, Rosenallis, improving accessibility to the Slieve Bloom Mountains, and a trail development for Derryounce Lakes in Portarlington being allocated €50,000 in today’s announcement,” she said.

Pictured: Minister Hackett with volunteer Donie Molloy at Derryounce, which is being funded to develop a walking trail under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

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