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Press Release for Immediate Release – 9th July 2020

County Carlow putting outdoors in the Frame with publication of Slí 2040 – Outdoor Recreation Strategy

The vision for County Carlow’s Outdoor Recreation is Sustainable, Local and Inclusive according to the new Outdoor Recreation Strategy published today (9th July 2020) by Carlow County Council.
The strategy which has been developed over 12 months by outdoor recreation expert Humphrey Murphy from ILC through an engagement process with hundreds of people sets out a clear framework for the development of County Carlow.

Speaking about the strategy, Michael Brennan, Director of Services with Carlow County Council said
“Slí 2040 provides us with a framework for the development of County Carlow’s recreational assets which will enhance County Carlow as a location to live, work, visit, play and study for people who love the outdoors ” , the Director continued to say “the strategy recommends a five pillar approach in relation to the development of Integrated structures; a focus on increasing usage; promotion; developing new activities and supporting strategic developments”

The director concluded by saying “he would like to thank all the recreational users , groups , agencies and interested parties who inputted into the strategy and also Coillte , Waterways Ireland , Carlow County Development Partnership , County Carlow Sports Partnership , Carlow Tourism , Sport Ireland & IT Carlow who provided support on the working group for the strategy”.
Welcoming the strategy, Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council , Cllr. Tom O’Neill said “I welcome the publication of this strategy and acknowledge the work carried out by the Council Executive in partnership with the agencies to develop a clear framework and roadmap for the development of our outdoor spaces” , the Cathaoirleach continued to say “ Our residents are our priority outdoor recreation participants and they along with visitors to the County deserve more opportunities to benefit from quality outdoor experiences, especially where these opportunities support our wellbeing, our local economy and this framework will help us as a Council in developing this vision for the County”.

A partnership approach in delivering the strategy is essential and commenting on the strategy , Mary Lawlor , Chief Executive of Carlow County Development Partnership (CCDP) said “CCDP plays a critical role in supporting the outdoor recreation agenda for County Carlow with schemes such as TUS and the Rural Social Scheme coupled with community led interventions supported under the LEADER Programme and projects such as Carlow Outdoors supported under ORIS”. The Chief Executive continued to say “I look forward to the new partnership approach recommended in this plan which clearly lays out a roadmap for all in the development of the outdoor in a collaborative and integrated way”

The development of the strategy was co-ordinated by Carlow County Council and on its publication , Kathleen Holohan , Chief Executive said “we as a local authority must play a critical role in putting in place the conditions and structures to ensure the outdoors are developed in a way suitable for our residents and visitors to the County”, Holohan continued to say “The outdoors includes all green and blue spaces such as urban parks, village hinterlands, urban riverbanks, local forests and the green and blue gaps between buildings. We know that this can provide a deep experience of nature and it is especially appropriate for novice outdoor recreational participants” Holohan continued to say “Outdoor recreation participation in County Carlow is possible due to the generosity of private and state landowners and this strategy is dependent on their future generosity and the reasonable actions and expectations of outdoor recreation participants”. Commenting on the work of the Council, Kathleen Holohan said “I would like to acknowledge the work of Helen Ryan, Economic Development Officer in co-ordinating this project and commit that we as a Council look forward to moving ahead with key projects such as the Water Activity Hub which is currently at design stage in Carlow Town Park”.