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Sunday 22 April 2018

Minister's home county awarded largest share of funding

Minister for Rural Affairs, Michael Ring TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister for Rural Affairs, Michael Ring TD. Photo: Tom Burke

Ken Foxe

After being appointed Minister for Rural Affairs, Michael Ring promised he would do the best that he could for his own county.

True to his word, in the first major tranche of funding announced by the TD, his county of Mayo has done very well.

Of more than €11.4m announced as part of a rural recreation scheme, the largest single share went to Mr Ring's home county.

Analysis of the data shows that €1.125m went to 16 separate projects in Mayo, the joint highest number of projects funded in the country.

Louth - with only one project funded - received just €8,500 from the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

After his appointment Mr Ring told a homecoming celebration in Westport: "I will continue to bring all the money that I have brought in to Ballina, and to Ballycastle, and to Killala, and every part of this county that I have an opportunity."

Mr Ring's department said other counties had actually done better on a per capita basis.

A spokesperson said: "Projects are approved for funding based on their suitability and budgetary availability. In measure one of the scheme each local authority can submit up to 15 project proposals; however, not all did.

"Wexford, Cavan and Louth submitted one or two proposals each. Kildare submitted none. This obviously has a bearing on the amounts received."

The department said that after the level of funding for Mayo was queried for this report, it calculated the overall amount allocated per head of population in each county.

Worked out that way, it said Leitrim had actually done best with €34.28 per head of population - more than twice the next highest, Sligo. On a per capita basis, Mayo had still done very well - coming in sixth out of 26, and behind Leitrim, Sligo, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath.

Irish Independent

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