Funding announcement for Cong and Killala new outdoor recreation projects 


  • Funding will support preparatory work required to bring large scale outdoor recreation projects to a shovel-ready stage
  • Investment will ensure a strong pipeline of outdoor amenity projects right across the country in the coming years


Fine Gael TD and Spokesperson on Tourism and Sport, Deputy Alan Dillon has welcomed a funding announcement by his party colleague, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has today announced funding of  €100,000 to support the development of two outdoor adventure projects in County Mayo.

Funding of €50,000 each has been awarded to Cong to Lisloughrey Pier Recreational Trail for the detailed design for a new 3.5km scenic trail connecting Cong and the 19th Century Dry canal structure and onwards to Kellys cave. The second project is for the Scoping the creation of Irelands first underwater artificial reef in Killala bay and environmental planning costs in Killala.

The investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will be key to enhancing our outdoor amenities such as our walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

The projects, when ultimately delivered, will also provide a major boost to local economies by attracting visitors and furthering our reputation as a destination for adventure tourism.

This funding will be invested in 50 outdoor recreation projects that are currently at the early stage of development.

These projects are to receive funding of up to €50,000 to bring them to a shovel-ready stage. Once at a shovel ready stage, they will be in a position to secure further funding through the other measures of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Funding for the delivery of projects on the ground under the other Measures of the scheme will be announced by Minister Humphreys early next year.

Deputy Dillion said: “The funding in Cong will be a great addition to Lisloughrey where work has already been completed on the per slipway along with a new car park after almost four acres of land was acquired from Coillte for the development.

‘These are two fantastic projects which have been in the planning stages for some time. I want to commend Mayo County Council for submitting these applications and I was happy to work alongside my colleagues Cllr Michael Burke and Cllr Jarlath Munnelly in progressing the trail in Cong and the artificial reef in Killala, which is a first for the country.”



Our Rural Future

Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025 It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas

Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors

Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors, the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2023-2027, launched in 2023 was developed in collaboration with Comhairle na Tuaithe and is a collaborative Cross-Government, stakeholder-led strategy. It reflects the views of stakeholders, the public and the whole of Government and it sets the stage to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the outdoor recreation sector in Ireland for years to come.

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) provides funding as follows:

  • Measure 1: Small scale repair/development/promotion and marketing (up to €30,000 grant available)
  • Measure 2: Medium scale upgrade and new trail/amenity development (up to €200,000 grant available)
  • Measure 3: Large scale repair/upgrade and new strategic trail/amenity development (up to €500,000 grant available)
  • Project Development Measure: Development costs for strategic large scale Measure 2 or Measure 3 type projects e.g. detailed design, preparation for the planning and/or procurement, appropriate assessment etc. (up to €50,000 grant available)


Funding of up to 90% of the total approved project costs is awarded, with the additional 10% to be provided from other sources. Further announcements expected on the other measures early next year.