Councils get €7m for rural road improvements
Rural and Community Development Minister Michael Ring will today announce an extra €7.4m for councils to improve "non-public rural roads".
The money will be spent on rural lanes, boreens and access roads and brings the total grants to €17.4m in 2017.
Mr Ring said these roads provided vital access to homes and farms as well as amenities such as lakes, rivers or the ocean.
The Government will provide up to 90pc funding to local councils, with the remaining cost coming from local residents, or the local authorities in the case of roads leading to public amenities.
"This Local Improvement Scheme is about improving small roads and laneways in rural Ireland which are not maintained by the local authorities. I cannot overstate how important these roads are to people in rural areas. They enable them to access their homes and farms but many have fallen into disrepair," Mr Ring said.
The minister said the roads gave access to homes, farmyards, agricultural land and business premises, and were often heavily used. But because they fell outside of direct local authority control, many needed upgrading.
"It's only right and fair that some of the motor tax, excise duty on fuel and local property tax paid by people in rural areas is invested in the repair of shared laneways that connect their homes, farms and businesses to the public road network," Mr Ring said.
The funds will be provided to 19 local authorities based on the amounts they have requested and their stated capacity to complete the work before the end of the year.
Donegal County Council has been allocated €2.5m, having indicated that it has a particularly high demand for improvements to non-public roads as a result of the damage caused by local flooding in August.