It’s looking promising for a €200,000 upgrade to Rinville coastal walkway after a visit by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring.
Minister Ring visited the coastal walk last week at the invitation of Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton, who has been pursuing funding for the upgrade works.
“Rinville is a fantastic attraction and amenity for visitors and locals alike,” said Deputy Naughton, “The coastal walkway, the park, the sailing club and the golf club combine there to make it an area for great history, leisure and natural beauty.”
“We now have an opportunity to capitalise on its huge potential and make it a key attraction of the Wild Atlantic Way route, which would be of immense benefit to both the immediate and the surrounding area of Maree and Oranmore.”
The proposed works would see the existing path on Rinville coastal walkway widened and enhanced to the same standard as other greenways. Additional health and safety improvements would also be made to the seaside walk.
The Fine Gael TD, who is from nearby Oranmore, has been campaigning for improvements to the coastal attraction since 2013.
If steps are not taken, Deputy Naughten insists, there is a risk that that the path could be lost to coastal erosion.
“Urgent works are required to ensure the health and safety of hundreds of people who walk there every day. In carrying out these works, we have the opportunity to upgrade the walking route and make it worthy of its amazing setting on Galway Bay,”
“However, long-term repair and coastal-protection works are also required in order to protect the coast from further storm damage and erosion. Parts of it have already been severely damaged, and we need to act now in order to preserve it for future generations.”
Deputy Naughton says the plan already has the backing of the county council, Oranmore Tidy Towns, and Fáilte Ireland, who want to make Rinville Point a focus of the Wild Atlantic Way in the area.
She’s also confident of having Minister Ring’s support for the project after his visit last week, “As a former tourism minister and current minister for rural and community affairs, he understands the value of the location for the locality and for tourism in general.”
Minster Ring’s support could be crucial to getting funding for Rinville coastal walkway, as it’s his department which will decide whether to grant it under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.