Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, today paid his first official visit to Glenveagh National Park. The Minister has responsibility for each of Ireland’s six national parks as part of his brief.
On his visit the Minister praised the wonderful amenities that are available in our National Parks.
“Over the past few months I have visited our National Parks and have been greatly impressed by the variety and beauty of our natural heritage. Our National Parks are not just wonderful amenity for the people of this country to enjoy but they also form an integral part of our national tourism product. They are a significant draw for tourists and have a key role in regional development.
“Glenveagh National Park is one of the jewels of our natural heritage. It is the only National Park in Ulster and a key stopping point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Its importance as a tourist amenity was underlined earlier this year with the visit of their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who were greatly impressed not just by the natural beauty of the surroundings, but also by the wonderful work going on in the Glenveagh Education Service to make the teaching of science, nature and biodiversity more attractive to our young people.”
The Minister also confirmed circa €250,000 of capital investment for Glenveagh National Park and wildlife reserves in the Northern Region. The funding, which is part of the Department’s Capital Programme for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, is aimed at priority capital projects identified within the country’s six National Parks and 80 statutory Nature Reserves.
Over €160,000 has been allocated to upgrading works, which include bridge and road repairs as well as upgrading of waste water facilities. A further €80,000 has been allocated for the control of invasive species.
Speaking today Minister Ring said: “While the last few years have been difficult in relation to Exchequer funding, I am delighted that we are in a position to invest further in our National Parks and Nature Reserves to ensure they remain a vital tourist and recreational resource.
“This capital investment in our natural heritage assets will help build on the very important tourist product we have in this country and their contribution to the economy, both nationally and regionally, by way of increased tourist numbers and revenue for rural economies”
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