Some €22m has been made available for upgrading rural laneways and non-public roads, in an announcement made by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys on Monday 8 August.

The funding, which is being doubled, is provided as part of 'Our Rural Future', which is a Government policy for rural development and will focus on providing better access to homes, farms and outdoor amenities.

Donegal is set to receive over €1.7m, the most funding received compared with any other county.

Other counties where the largest amount of funding is destined for include Galway, which will receive over €1.6m and Kerry with almost €1.5m.

Sligo and Kildare will receive the least in funding, with €358,000 and €435,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Dublin has not been allocated any funds under the scheme.


Prior to the announcement, each local authority was asked to consult with local residents and landowners and identify road and laneway projects where works could start immediately and be completed this year.

Minister Humphreys said: "The recent census results show that the population of rural Ireland is growing. This is hugely positive.

"As part of ‘Our Rural Future’, I want to see more people living, working and raising a family in our rural communities throughout the country."

The Local Improvement Scheme, she said, is about making life a little bit easier for those rural families who live on a laneway or non-public road.

That funding has delivered improvements on over 3,000 roads and laneways nationwide

The scheme provides substantial grant aid for the upgrade of these routes and assists homeowners with the costs.

In many cases where there are multiple homes on a lane, neighbours will work together to draw down funding under the scheme.

“The Department of Rural and Community Development is now exactly five years old. I am proud during those five years [that] my Department has provided over €100m under the Local Improvement Scheme.

"That funding has delivered improvements on over 3,000 roads and laneways nationwide, benefiting over 13,000 rural homes."

The minister added that she wants to see young people building on their family land, living in the community they grew up in and seeing their children attend the local school and playing for the local GAA club.

“I will always fight for rural homeowners and I will continue to make the case for further increases in funding under the Local Improvement Scheme," she said.

The funding provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development will be complemented by a local financial contribution from landowners/householders.

There is a ceiling of €1,200 on the amount that any individual householder or landowner will be asked to contribute towards the cost.

County breakdown