Mayo is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning as a result of Project Ireland 2040.

Fine Gael Senator John O’Mahony said the plan will support families and strengthen communities in Mayo, and will ensure sustainable growth for the future of the county.

Speaking about Project 2040 which was launched by Government today (Friday),  Senator O’Mahony said:

“In the first version of Fine Gael’s Republic of Opportunity document, we said it is time to plan for what Ireland is going to look like in 2040.

“This is our plan for the future of Ireland. For the first time in the history of the State, our spatial planning is backed up with solid investment and it will deliver for our citizens.

“The National Planning Framework which forms part of Project Ireland 2040 sets out how Ireland can grow in a sustainable, balanced fashion over the next twenty years.50% of population growth is planned for our towns, villages and rural communities and 50% for our cities. Project Ireland 2040 is backed and supported up by a €115bn National Development Plan.

“Our population is expected to have increased to 6 million people by 2040 and, without any State intervention, this will result in ongoing shift in population and jobs towards Dublin and the neighbouring counties. This is not in anyone’s interests.

N5 Westport to Turlough

Significant extension of the road network from Westport to east of Castlebar.  The scheme is expected to progress to contract award stage in early-2021.

Belmullet Sewerage Scheme

This €10 million investment by Irish Water will provide new wastewater infrastructure to comply with EU Directives and eliminate the current untreated discharge. This will assist in maintaining Belmullet as a leading tourism area and provide the capacity for future population and economic growth

Killala, Foxford and Charlestown Sewerage Schemes

Irish Water is investing €19.4m in new and upgraded wastewater infrastructure to comply with EU Directives, reduce pollution, eliminate untreated discharge at Killala and produce a wastewater system that will cater for economic growth.

Regional Airports

The Government will continue to support the Regional Airports Programme, which involves financial support to the smaller regional airports including Knock.

Two significant developments over the coming years- an overlay of the main runway and an apron safety extension.

Investment in National Heritage

Project Ireland will see a €285 million investment in our national heritage. This includes Ballycroy National Park and improvements at the Ceide Fields.

Gaeltacht investment

Project Ireland supports Gaeltacht areas across the country, for example by prioritising investment in the development of tourism facilities in the completion of Ionad na hEachleime in County Mayo and increased investment to enable the creation of 1,000 jobs every year in Gaeltacht areas across the country including Mayo.

Rural Regeneration and Development

Investment projects in towns and villages with populations of less than 10,000 in the West will be in a position to benefit from a new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which will invest €1bn in promoting rural renewal, to help towns, villages and rural areas to grow in a sustainable way.

Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA) consortium

Consisting of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Institute of Technology Sligo, and Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Aspects of Project Ireland 2040 which will benefit the region include:

  • The acceleration of the National Broadband Plan ensuring coverage in villages, rural areas is a key priority.

  • For social housing, the target across the 2016-2021 period is to deliver approximately 3,500 additional social homes under this programme across the West of Ireland region. Over two thirds of this will be through new build with around 900 units completed, on site or progressing through approval stages. For more information, please visit the Rebuilding Ireland website

  • Regional International connectivity will be imperative for Ireland post-Brexit. Actions include sustained investment in Knock and Donegal airports.

  • Investment in schools includes a nation-wide school building programme to respond to demographic changes, as well as the Prefab Replacement Programme, Summer Works Schemes and Minor Works Schemes to support the ongoing school maintenance and upgrade programmes. For pre 2008 schools, a deep energy retrofit programme will be commenced and progressed.

  • The Digital Strategy for Schools rollout is a priority for Government, and will further embed technology and digital learning in primary and post-primary schools throughout the region.

  • Increased investment will also support new Physical Education facilities in post-primary schools, to ensure that students have access to the appropriate facilities to support PE provisions, particularly in the context of the roll-out of PE as a Leaving Certificate subject.

  • To help support employment and enterprise, new Regional Sectoral Clusters will be developed. Led by industry, these Clusters will involve regional SMEs and multinationals collaborating with research centres and third-level institutions, with the aim of scaling and internationalising enterprise in all regions.

  • 2018 will also see the launch of the second phase of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund involving €30m, under Project Ireland 2040.

  • As part of the Government’s priority efforts to support and equip SMEs for the challenges of Brexit, Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices are supporting exposed enterprises with targeted programmes to improve their competitiveness and innovation performance, and to diversity trade from the UK to new markets. 

  • A €300m loan fund is also open to businesses of less than 500 employees, nation-wide, which are exposed to the impact of Brexit.

  • Rural and community development in the West of Ireland will be supported by, for example, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, LEADER, the Rural Recreation Scheme, the CLÁR Programme, the RAPID Programme and further libraries investment.

  • On farm Investment - Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Scheme - support for on-farm facilities and equipment in the West of Ireland to enhance growth and competiveness, address climate and environmental issues, improve animal welfare and farm safety. Targets young farmers to address the age profile of the sector.

  • Forestry Programme - Funding for Afforestation grants, forestry development supports as well as premia for existing forestry. In addition to their valuable economic contribution to the rural economy forests play an essential role in helping with climate change mitigation, through carbon sequestration in forests and the provision of renewable fuels and raw materials.

  • National Food Innovation Hub - Funding to create a supportive environment for research and innovation involving food companies and research institutes with a focus on food, health and nutrition.

  • Prepared Consumer Food Innovation Centre - Funding  to improve the competitiveness and innovation capacity of  the PCF sector

  • European Maritime and Fisheries Fund  Programme - Support for investment in productive capacity in aquaculture and for investment in seafood processing equipment and facilities to assist SME seafood enterprises to scale up and invest in the technology to move up the value chain and to diversify their exports.

  • The multi-annual funding framework for the Rural Water Programme is comprised of a range of measures to improve the quality, reliability and efficiency of rural water services infrastructure, including group water schemes and group sewerage schemes.  The aim of this Programme is to strengthen rural economies and communities.

  • Continued investment in our national transport networks will help ensure high levels of service quality, accessibility and connectivity. This includes for example, a National Train Control Centre to improve rail traffic management, and increased investment in rural transport programmes.

  • The Arts and Cultural Capital Scheme will be expanded to improve access to and participation in arts and culture in all parts of the country

  • Health investment projects in the West include the development of primary care centres and the upgrading and replacement of community nursing units across the western region. 

Some specific examples outlined in Project Ireland 2040 for the West include:

  • A new emergency department to be built at Galway University Hospital. 

  • Replacement and further radiation oncology facilities to be developed at Galway.

  • New dedicated ambulatory elective-only hospital facilities to be introduced in Galway.

  • New rehabilitation unit to be provided at Roscommon Hospital

  • New Central Sterile Services Department to be provided at Roscommon Hospital



IDA property solutions, strategic sites and grants in all regions will deliver new Foreign Direct Investment and high-quality jobs.

Since it is more challenging to win new investment outside metropolitan areas, advanced planning and provision of property solutions will be expanded in all regions with a particular focus in the near term on the Border and Midland Regions. Ireland’s ability to secure significant new large-scale capital investment in all regions is partly dependent on the ready availability of serviced sites of scale with appropriate zoning and capacity for required utilities to match the needs of large capital intensive projects.

The IDA’s investment in strategic sites to date has yielded significant projects that would not have been possible unless such sites were available for investors. It is also evidenced by the clustering of companies in locations such as Ringaskiddy in Cork and Parkmore in Galway.

This action will build on IDA’s current €150 million regional property investment programme that has delivered new advanced buildings in Athlone, Castlebar, Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Tralee and Waterford, among other locations. The property programme will be complemented with IDA Grants programmes across the regions. 

• Sport Capital Programme- Over €100 million in capital funding has been allocated for the Sport Capital Programme (SCP) for the coming four years. The SCP is the primary means of providing Government support to sports clubs and organisations for sports capital works. The most recent allocations under the Programme were made at the end of 2017, with €60 million allocated to sporting clubs and organisations throughout the country. The SCP is primarily designed for smaller scale projects with the maximum grant provided under the most recent round being €150,000. Outside of the SCP, in recent times state support has also been provided for significant sporting infrastructure including the Croke Park redevelopment, the Aviva Stadium and Thomond Park. At present, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport is administering the Government grants towards the redevelopment of Páirc Ui Chaoimh, (total contribution €30 million), and the Kerry Sports Academy, (total contribution €7.5 million). In the longer term, funding of sports facilities is being considered as part of the Sports Policy Review which is expected to be finalised in early 2018. It is clear, however, that a number of the Sport National Governing Bodies have ambitious plans for large scale sport developments in the coming years.

Accordingly, a new Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund of €100 million is being established for larger sports projects where the proposed Government contribution exceeds amounts available under the SCP.

“Mayo is going to benefit from real investment and proper planning thanks to Project Ireland 2040.

“This sustainable planning for Mayo, backed by real investment, will support families and strengthen communities here. With Project Ireland 2040, Fine Gael is ensuring sustainable growth for the future of Mayo  What’s good for Mayo  is also good for the surrounding region,” Senator John O’Mahony  said.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said: “This marks a significant milestone in our country’s development, the point at which we put a lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion. This is a plan for all our citizens – the old, the young, and the yet to be born, living in towns, in cities and in the countryside. It follows the spirit of Collins and Lemass, people who always strove to raise the prospects of every Irish citizen. It’s about ensuring that all parts of Ireland fulfil their potential. As we approach our 100th anniversary as a sovereign nation, it’s about investing to ensure our country is insulated against any possible challenges like Brexit. It’s a path to a positive, sustainable future.”