Some of the counties worst affected economically by Covid-19 are among the winners of a new tranche of tourism project funding.
Wexford and Cavan, which feature in the recent Covid-19 Regional Economic Analysis report list of towns worst hit, have both been awarded funding from the 2020 Rural Innovation and Development Fund Agri-Food Tourism Initiatives.
Other worst hit counties like Clare, Kerry and Longford missed out.
A total of 11 projects were awarded funding. They included two from Galway, two from Sligo, one from Leitrim, and one from Mayo, as well as one each in Carlow, Cavan, Wexford, and Waterford.
The bulk of the money - €119,272 - went to the projects in Connacht, and included €10,800 to Achill Island Sea Salt, €25,000 to the Discover Galway Food Experiences and €17,500 to the Sligo Food Trail.
Just one project in Munster has been awarded funding, and that is the Waterford County Festival of Food, which was awarded €24,802.75.
Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, said: “I believe that agri-tourism is of great importance for rural areas in order to showcase their people, landscape, history, and culture through agricultural produce, food and drink and local cuisine.
“In addition, it provides opportunities for rural businesses, including farmers, producers and artisans, to develop their products and services, connect with the community and visitors and improve skills and best practice”.
Drinks Ireland was awarded €13,744.85 for the Irish Whiskey Association’s Irish Whiskey 360 - a trial of distilleries around the country, including two in Cork.
Those also awarded money are Carlow County Council’s Ireland South East Agri-Food Tourism Cluster (€12,987), and Galway County Council’s Discover Galway Food Experiences (€25,000).
Drumshambo Community Council’s Taste Leitrim Food and Drink Experiences was awarded €22,750, and the Bia Innovator Campus, in Athenry was awarded €25,000.
Strandhill Peoples Market was awarded €18,942.