Minister Heather Humphreys performs the sod turning for recreational enhancements at Dartrey Forest Park last Friday along with Cllr Sean Gilliand, chairman Ballybay/Clones Municipal District; Cllr David Maxwell, cathaoirleach, Monaghan Co Council; Senator Robbie Gallagher and local public representatives and members of Cootehill Area Development Association.

Minister turns sod on Dartry upgrades

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, last Friday (April 12) turned the sod on upgrades to recreation amenities at Dartrey Forest near Cootehill.

The enhancement works include upgrades to the forest entrance, additional parking, improvements to various trails and pedestrian access to Rockcorry village.

The project received an overall investment of €400,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

“I am a firm believer in developing our outdoor amenities such as our forest parks, our outdoor trails, our rivers and lakes – because these amenities have become even more popular since COVID-19,” said Minister Humphreys.

“They really are key in terms of attracting visitors to our rural towns and making rural Ireland the destination of choice for hikers and walkers alike.”

The minister next officially opened Mountain Bike Skills and Pump Track in the Cavan-Monaghan ETB Tanagh Outdoor Education and Training Centre.

The bike skills and pump track has been built on what was waste ground at the Tanagh Centre overlooking Dartrey Forest. The track has been designed to suit cyclists of all abilities.

The event was attended by Cathaoirleach of Monaghan County Council, Oireachtas members, councillors, and Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council, Robert Burns.

Representatives from Coillte and Rockcorry Community Development and Cootehill Area Development were also present.

Speaking at the Tanagh Outdoor Centre, Minister Humphreys thanked all who had the vision in 1992 to establish Tanagh Outdoor Education and Training Centre for the benefit of students and young people of the region.

“That vision has been an outstanding success with over 12,000 visitors annually visiting the centre and using its facilities.”