Minister Michael Ring pictured with Louth CoCo cathaoirleach Colm Markey and Louth Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick.
Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring TD was in Cooley today (Thursday March 22nd) to mark the official opening of the new playground at the Cooley Kickhams complex at Monksland.
The visit was the second of two stops for the Minister in Louth as he visited projects that have benefited from departmental funding in the past, all part of rural regeneration. Earlier, he visited The Market House in Dunleer.
The Cooley playground received €79,000 worth of CLÁR programme funding towards it's completion, with the organising committee of locals tasked with coming up with the remaining €20,000.
Whilst Minister Ring's visit marked the official opening on Thursday, the playground has been enjoyed by children in the area since December.
According to the Department, projects in Co Louth have been approved for funding of over €1.155 million under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme to date.
"This playground in Cooley is an excellent example of partnership between the Local Authority, the local community and Kickham Gaelic Football Club, working together to see this project to completion," the Minister said.
"My role as Minister for Rural and Community Development affords me the opportunity to engage with people around the country and see the results of the work of many local communities.
"Partnership and community involvement is vital in all areas of life, and that partnership and community spirit has been evident in the small rural towns and villages across the country in recent years under initiatives such as the CLÁR programme, the Rural Recreation Scheme, and the Town & Village Renewal Scheme."
Minister Ring also confirmed that a new round of CLÁR funding for 2018 had been launched with a fund of €5 million. "As we can see here in Cooley, a modest level of investment in projects under the CLÁR programme can have a big impact in improving the lives of people who live in the community," he said.