On Monday 17th May 2021, the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Rena Donaghey and Bainisteoir of the Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhór, Ms. Nóirín Ui Mhaoldomhnaigh turned the sod on a new Shore Front Amenity Development at An Leadhb Gharbh, Oileán Árainn Mhór.
The development will deliver a high quality land mark recreation, outdoor amenity and local community inspired amphitheatre event space on the Island as a part of the €4.1m ‘Harbour to Island’ rural regeneration project. The project is co-funded by the Council and the Department of Rural & Community Development under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which is a flagship element of Project Ireland 2040. This project is the result of a partnership between Donegal County Council and Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhór.
Welcoming the progression of the project to site Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Rena Donaghey said: “the Council has been developing, with much success, an ambitious programme of rural regeneration and development projects committed to the renewal, investment and liveability of our rural towns and communities. This is the first such project to now progress to site and I am delighted for the island community of Oileán Árainn Mhór that the project has reached this important delivery milestone.”
The ambitious development was first identified by Comharchumann Oileán Árainn Mhór Teo in their Development Plan for the Island, but did not progress in the absence of a capital funding source. Bainisteoir of the Comharchumann, Nóirín Ui Mhaoldomhnaigh said “We were delighted to partner with the Council towards their collective vision for the Ailt an Choirráin and Árainn Mhór ‘Harbour to Island’ regeneration project. This partnership and the funding secured through the Council and the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund has now enabled the progression of one of our key development objectives for the Island and we are overjoyed to see this project finally progress to site.”
Speaking about the ‘Harbour to Island’ regeneration project, John McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council says: “I am delighted to see construction beginning on the Shore Front Amenity development on Oileán Árainn Mhór. It is a clear signal of the Council’s commitment to investment in the renewal and regeneration of our rural communities and I have every confidence that this new amenity will enhance the quality of life for residents of the Island and will both stimulate and support new and emerging business in the tourism, hospitality, leisure and related sectors.”
Donegal based building contractors Joseph McMenamin & Sons (Stranorlar) Ltd have been appointed by Donegal County Council to deliver the development which is scheduled to complete over the next 31 weeks.