BY HELEN RIDDELL
IRELAND’S longest walking trail, the Beara Breifne Way, is set to benefit from a cash injection of €400,000.
Announced late last week by the outgoing Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, the funding is part of a €13m rural regeneration and development fund that will assist 24 projects nationwide.
Jim Sullivan of Beara Tourism, the lead partners in the Beara Breifne Way, welcomed the funding, which he said will allow them to undertake an in-depth assessment of the entire trail ahead of progressing to the next phase of its development.
The Beara Breifne Way is composed of 12 interlinked walking trails based on the historic march of Donal Cam O’Sullivan Bere, the last great chieftain of West Cork, and follows the 14-day march undertaken by him and his supporters in 1603.
Mr Sullivan said the Beara Breifne Way is one of the biggest community projects in the country, and he extended thanks to Failte Ireland, the Heritage Council and Cork County Council for their support.
Cork South West FF Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan said the funding for the Beara Breifne Way was great news for the county and local tourism. ‘I’d like to commend Beara Tourism for the incredibly proactive work they do in promoting these walkways and tourism in this area.
‘We don’t know what shape tourism is going to take in the months ahead, but certainly hill walking to me sounds like one of the safest activities to take part in, in terms of physical distancing.’