25 May 2022

Kildare County Council welcomes Minister to Kildare town, Monasterevin and Athy

Kildare welcomes Minister to Kildare town,  Monasterevin and Athy

Minister Humphries is welcomed to Kildare. Pictures: Ronan Melia.

Kildare County Council welcomed Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys to Kildare yesterday for a tour of some of the many rural and community projects and developments across the county.

A packed tour included visits to the site of the proposed Shackleton Museum where the Minister unveiled the branding for the new museum. 

The Cathaoirleach of the County of Kildare, Cllr Naoise O Cearuil welcomed the Minister to Athy Heritage Centre to begin the visit at the Rural Regeneration and Development (RRDF) funded proposed Shackleton Museum and Emily Square Project. 

He said; "The Shackleton Museum here in Athy is a prime example of the positive work and co-operation between National and Local Government. The recent discovery of Shakleton’s vessel Endurance, has created further interest in Ernest Shackleton not only in Kildare but Internationally. We are extremely proud that he was a Kildare man and a museum to him, his expeditions and his crew is only fitting. Launching the branding for the Museum today will create a unique selling point for tourism in Athy and Kildare."

From there an official ribbon cutting took place at The Old Hardware, launching phase 2 of the successful community-led social enterprise, the initial development of which was funded by the Town & Village Renewal Scheme.

Following stops in Crookstown to unveil Venture House Remote Working Hub, which received funding under the Connected Hubs scheme, and Monasterevin for the launch of Monasterevin Town Renewal Masterplan, the council welcomed the Minister to Kildare Market Square, which received funding of €40,000 under the Town & Village Accelerated Covid Measures scheme to develop the outdoor space during the pandemic, the success of which has led to RRDF funding approval for the permanent redevelopment of the Square.

Minister Humphreys said; “It was wonderful to be in Kildare to meet with community and business representatives and see first-hand the projects and initiatives that my Department is supporting.

“All of the projects I have opened today are exactly the kind of projects that I want to see receive funding from my Department. They provide fantastic facilities and help to make our communities more sustainable. They are helping to realise the vision outlined in Our Rural Future, the Government’s new five-year strategy for rural Ireland, which is for a thriving rural Ireland full of people, places and possibilities.”

Interim Chief Executive, Kildare County Council, Sonya Kavanagh said; We’re delighted to welcome Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, to Kildare to witness how vital funding from her department has had a hugely positive impact on towns, villages and communities in our County.   Funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development has helped to ensure the delivery of important projects for the communities of Kildare and we thank the Minister and her Department for their ongoing support.”

The final stop of the day was the picturesque setting of the Barrow Blueway for an official ribbon cutting on the completion of the first 5km of the Barrow Blueway at Lowtown. 

The project is being delivered in partnership between Kildare County Council, Waterways Ireland and Laois County Council and is being funded through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. Upon completion, this project will deliver 46km of Blueway between Lowtown and Athy.

John McDonagh, Chief Executive, Waterways Ireland said; “I welcome Minister Humphrey’s visit to view the ongoing work to create the Barrow Blueway.  I want to acknowledge and thank Minister Humphreys for the funding from her department in facilitating our partnership with Kildare and Laois County Councils to deliver this project. The trail will provide a wonderful experience for local people, activity clubs, social and youth groups to enjoy. We look forward to working with Kildare and Laois County Councils to complete the project and share the beauty of this area.”


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