Minister Heather Humphreys, who has responsibility for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, has addressed the recently formed Clare Rural Development Forum on the opportunities available through the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.

Minister Heather Humphreys in the driving seat of a Clare Bus with Clare County Council CEO, Pat Dowling, and Fianna Fáil councillor Pat Hayes. Pic Arthur Ellis

Minister Heather Humphreys in the driving seat of a Clare Bus with Clare County Council CEO, Pat Dowling, and Fianna Fáil councillor Pat Hayes. Pic Arthur Ellis

During her visit, Minister Humphreys met with Clare County Council CEO, Pat Dowling and key staff members of the local authority. The plan includes a number of key targets, including creating 135,000 jobs outside Dublin by 2020 and boosting rural tourism by 12%.

The Government recently announced €20 million in funding for rural towns and villages as part of the Action Plan for Rural Development. Under a separate heading, the Structures at Risk Fund & the Built Heritage Investment Scheme, Clare will also receive €143,500 for heritage projects.

Minister Humphreys also took the opportunity to visit a number of successful rural development projects in the county including a community transport initiative, a derelict property which has been refurbished as an enterprise and a local digital project.

The Minister is visiting rural communities around the country as part of a series of structured engagements on the Action Plan for Rural Development. Among the structures at risk which will benefit is Mount Ievers Court, Sixmilebridge and Barntick House, Clarecastle.

Projects to be funded under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme include private and public structures such as Carnelly House, Clarecastle; Mount Ievers Court, Sixmilebridge; the Old Blacksmiths Cottage, Kilkishen; Barntick House, Barntick, Clarecastle; Glenard House, Manus, Clarecastle; Manus House and Clare Castle & Barracks, both in Clarecastle.”