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Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys officially opens rural projects worth over €6 million during visit to Wexford

  • Minister opens High Hill Norman Gardens, part of the New Ross Tourism Transformation project
  • Minister also turns the sod of the Little Sea – Bannow Bay Estuary Blueway Project


Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has officially opened rural projects across County Wexford which have received funding of over €6 million from her Department.


All of the projects were funded under the Government’s ambitious rural development policy, Our Rural Future.


Her visit to Wexford began at St Aidan’s GAA club in Ferns, where the Minister officially opened a community gym and walking track lights.


The Minister then went to New Ross to open High Hill Norman Garden.


Speaking at the official opening the Minister said:


“New Ross is a town with a vibrant history and it is fantastic to see this history brought alive here today on High Hill.


“I would like to congratulate Wexford County Council and everyone involved in all aspects of this project on this great achievement.


“The High Hill project is just one of the attractions that will be delivered as part of the New Ross Tourism Transformation Project.


“And I was very pleased that my Department’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund provided funding of €5.56 million for this project in 2019, coupled with over €1 million from Fáilte Ireland.”


Next was a visit to Clongeen to open the Community Development Centre extension and then it was on to Little Sea for the turning of the sod of the Bannow Bay Estuary Blueway, near Wellingtonbridge.


When complete, the blueway will provide safe access and facilities for water sports while also connecting three locations: Little Sea / Bannow Estuary, Wellingtonbridge village and Foulksmills village.


Speaking at Little Sea today, the Minister said:


“I’m a huge believer in promoting adventure tourism – because we have so many wonderful lakes and rivers and waterways that have so much to offer.


“This project perfectly complements the recent investment in this locality which includes the development of this viewing point, the installation of the Norman Way, the Euro Velo 1 cycling trail and the Slí Charman Coastal Walking Trail.


“Spanning the full length of the Wexford coast, Slí Charman is Ireland’s longest coastal path and it has also been supported by the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”


The Minister continued:


“From the world’s oldest working lighthouse at the Hook to Ireland’s longest beach at Curracloe, this trail shows just how wonderful your coastline is.


“So I think the term ‘spoilt for choice’ springs to mind when I visit a community like this.”


The Minister’s next stop was at Our Lady’s Island where she officially opened the Our Lady’s Island Community Project.


After receiving investment from the Department of Rural and Community Development the local community centre was retro-fitted.  A coffee shop, new playground, outdoor gym, new footpaths and a car park were also completed as part of the works.


The Minister’s final stop was in Clonard. Here she officially opened the brand new High Meadows Community Hub which was developed with support from the LEADER programme.


This new state-of-the-art facility will be used by the 13th Wexford Scout Group, one of the largest scouting groups in county Wexford.


Speaking about her visit to Wexford today, the Minister said:


“I’ve had a great day in Wexford – opening and visiting projects in Ferns, New Ross, Clongeen, Little Sea, Our Lady’s Island and now here in Clonard in Wexford.


“All of these projects are being delivered as part of Our Rural Future.


“That’s our five year rural development policy that is breathing new life into rural communities.


“Thank you for inviting me to open all your wonderful facilities today.”