Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) have warmly welcomed today’s announcement by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, of the addition of 31 new walking trails to be provided by Local Development Companies through the Department’s Walks Scheme and funding for a number of new Rural Recreation Officers.

The 31 new trails supported by 14 Local Development Companies across 13 counties are to be added to the ‘Walk’s Scheme’ currently supported by ILDN members which aims to open up our countryside to local walkers, hikers and tourists.

Welcoming the announcement, ILDN Chairperson Jim Finn said;  “The Walks Scheme and the work of Rural Recreational Officers supported by our member Local Development Companies has had a transformative impact in the areas where they have been rolled out to date. Today’s announcement means there will now be 80 trails under the Scheme, in conjunction and over 2,400 farmers and landowners in total.

“Fourteen ILDN members nationwide will drive the this expansion of trails added today which will involve working with over 400 farmers and include well known trails such as the Dingle Way in County Kerry, St Declan’s Way in County Waterford, the Ballyhoura Way in County Limerick, the South Leinster Way in County Kilkenny and the Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí in County Cork, the Cavan Way in County Cavan, the Wicklow Uplands Way in County Wicklow, the Lung/Lough Gara Way in County Roscommon and the Durrow Leafy Loop in County Sligo.

“We also welcome the additional funding provided to our Local Development Companies that deliver the scheme locally for the employment of Rural Recreation Officers who play a vital role in delivering the Walks Scheme and developing the outdoor recreation sector locally.  It is very positive that up to 8 new Rural Recreation Officer posts will be added to the 13 already in place. These are designed to further enhance our outdoor amenities and the experience of visitors to Rural Ireland.”

Waterford LEADER Chair Micheéal Cosgrove, Minister Heather Humphreys & ILDN Rural Recreation Chair Martina Earley


Additional Walks

The 31 new trails to be added are as follows:

  County LDC Name  Est. Length of Trail (km) Est. No. of Land holders
1 Cavan Breffni Integrated The Cavan Way 26 11
2 Cork West Cork Development Co Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí 50 16
3 Galway Forum Connemara Luibin Garumna/ Sli Chonamara 9 9
4 Galway Forum Connemara Luibin Maighros 5 7
5 Galway Forum Connemara Seanbothar 5 25
6 Kerry NEWKD Dingle Way 178 80
7 Kerry NEWKD North Kerry Way 48 10
8 Kerry NEWKD Glanageenty Loops (3 looped walks) 19.5 3
9 Kerry South Kerry Dev P/ship Bolus Loop/Skellig Way 13.6 4
10 Kerry South Kerry Dev P/ship Pound & Knockeenawaddra Loop 7 11
11 Kerry South Kerry Dev P/ship Caher Marsh 3.9 7
12 Kerry South Kerry Dev P/ship Emlagh Loop – Reenroe Cliff Walk 10 10
13 Kerry South Kerry Dev P/ship Keel Uphill Downhill Loop 13 7
14 Kilkenny Kilkenny LDC South Leinster Way 104 28
15 Kilkenny Kilkenny LDC Brandon Hill 19 9
16 Laois Laois Partnership Company Durrow Leafy Loop 23 3
17 Leitrim Leitrim Integrated Dev Co Arroo Trail 4.23 18
18 Limerick Ballyhoura Development Ballyhoura Way 89 17
19 Limerick Ballyhoura Development Slieveragh Loop 10 2
20 Limerick Ballyhoura Development Molanna Loop Walk 13 15
21 Limerick Ballyhoura Development Darragh Hills Loop 10 3
22 Limerick Ballyhoura Development Attychrann Loop 5 2
23 Limerick Ballyhoura Development Glounreagh Loop walk 6 2
24 Limerick Ballyhoura Development Paradise Hill 13 2
25 Louth Louth Leader Partnership Slieve Foy Loop (6 looped walks) 46 32
26 Roscommon Roscommon Integrated Dev Co Lung/Lough Gara Way 38.2 9
27 Sligo Co. Sligo Leader Partnership Aughris Head Trail 3.2 4
28 Sligo Co. Sligo Leader Partnership Lung Lough Gara Walk 30 9
29 Waterford Waterford Leader Partnership St. Declan’s Way 115 45
30 Waterford Waterford Leader Partnership Anne Valley Walk 5 13
31 Wicklow County Wicklow Partnership Wicklow Uplands Way 8.8 4
      930 417



RRO posts

The funding of additional RRO posts is conditional on the presentation of an appropriate business case from the relevant Local Development Companies that employ these Officers.

The indicative locations, based on a selection of areas with trails already on the Walks Scheme for new RRO’s are as follows:

  • North Kerry
  • Louth
  • Waterford
  • The Islands
  • West Cork (additional post given large number of existing participants on the scheme)
  • Remainder of Cork
  • Limerick
  • Cavan and surrounding areas