An extra €13m is being spread among local authorities in a bid to encourage outdoor dining and social activities this summer, with Cork receiving more than €850,000 for measures such as kerb widening, street furniture, and pedestrian safety measures.
Transport minister Eamon Ryan said 234 projects across 30 local authorities would receive an injection of cash. Some €792,000 will go towards 28 projects within Cork County Council, while its city counterpart will receive €60,000.
The funds are being administered by the National Transport Authority (NTA) as part of its overall national funding programme, the Department of Transport said.
"We want to ensure that local authorities have the resources they need to help communities enjoy a safe outdoor summer. The additional outdoor infrastructure fund enables measures such as cycling and walking infrastructure, the reallocation of road and street space, and traffic management arrangements," Mr Ryan said.
Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton said it is important to enjoy the summer months in a safe manner, and that the projects "will play an essential role in making that happen".
Macroom in Cork has been hailed as a prime location to reimagine outdoor dining as the country adjusts to reopening after a barren spell since the turn of the year.
Cork County Council said Macroom’s "unique streetscape, with its two squares, will be complemented with an outdoor social area at Middle Square that offers covered and uncovered dining, a space independent of Ireland’s changeable weather".
The council said the Macroom concept was part of its plan to stimulate local economies across the county's towns.
Project ACT 2021 is a continuation of last year’s "hugely successful initiative", it said.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, councillor Mary Linehan-Foley, said the region's bypass, one of the largest capital roads projects in Ireland at the moment, "will give Macroom a real opportunity to assert its unique identity as a thriving market town".