Donegal TD Joe McHugh has announced that the county is to get €2.5M in extra funding for local improvement schemes.

The funding from Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring is one third of the extra national allocation which fixes roadways and lanes in rural areas not covered by the local authority.

It follows lobbying of the Minister by cabinet colleague McHugh in recent weeks.

The Fine Gael Government representative had already secured €884,000 of an overall national budget of €10M in September.

Government Chief Whip McHugh said: “I am delighted to announce that an extra €2.5M in funding has now been secured for Local Improvement Schemes here in Donegal.

“I have been in constant communication with my Ministerial colleagues on the importance of the Local Improvement Scheme for people who live in rural Donegal and I am delighted Minister Ring has secured an extra €2.5M here in the county, a third of the extra allocation nationally.

“The Government hasn’t been in a position to adequately fund the LIS scheme for the last number of years, but we made a commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government that we would reinstate the scheme and we did that in September.

“The scheme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and will be delivered through Donegal County Council.

“I want to pay tribute to the Council who have helped to make this all possible. Staff have committed to doing the work before the end of the year and that has allowed us to release this extra funding from next Monday.”

Cllr Martin Harley, (Finn Valley), said: “This is fantastic news to receive this weekend. The reintroduction of the LIS schemes is important for rural communities here in Donegal and this extra funding will take the spend in Donegal between now and the end of the year to almost €3.4M.”

Cllr Bernard McGuinness (Inishowen), said: “I am delighted that Minister Joe McHugh has been able to secure this extra funding for our county. I also want to thank Minister Michael Ring for once again ensuring that counties like Donegal are now part of national thinking.”

In the Glenties Area, Cllr Terence Slowey said: “The return of the LIS schemes in September was an important step forward. Donegal received the third highest allocation in that announcement. Now this extra €2.5M is a massive bonus. So many more schemes can now be done across rural Donegal.

Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, who represents the Letterkenny/Milford area added: “I also want to pay tribute to Donegal County Council staff whose groundwork on the schemes allows us to get moving and get these improvement works done over the next few weeks. Minister McHugh deserves huge credit for getting our case into Government and I also want to thank Minister Michael Ring.

"We held a workshop on Thursday and had hoped to get some extra funds but this is way beyond what we hoped to get."

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