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Minister Coughlan opens Lough Key Forest and Activity Park

Ms. Mary Coughlan, Minister for Agriculture and Food, has officially opened the Lough Key Forest and Activity Park, Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Speaking at the opening of the new upgraded facilities, the Minister commented that "the development of Lough Key Forest Park is a unique and innovative project here in Ireland, with something for everybody from gentle leisurely activities to more energetic pursuits" and referred to some of the features in the Park such as the Tree Canopy walk, 19th Century underground tunnels, and an outdoor adventure playground.

The development of Lough Key Forest and Activity Park was a joint initiative by Roscommon County Council and Coillte with funding from Fáilte Ireland. The Minister commended both bodies for their vision and commitment and recognised

"the vital and very significant financial support provided by Fáilte Ireland under the Tourism Product Development Scheme, which formed part of the National Development Plan. Under that scheme the project has received support from the European Regional Development Fund at a grant rate of 75% of the cost of the development and I would like to acknowledge this very considerable contribution by the EU towards the Lough Key Forest project. This is a very good example of a partnership approach and also of the commitment of the Government and the EU to developing the tourism sector here in Ireland."

Minister Coughlan referred to the launch earlier this year by her colleague, John O'Donoghue, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, of Failte Ireland's Tourism Product Development Strategy covering the period to 2013 and the economic benefit that can be delivered by tourism. The Minister also pointed to a growing recognition of the social and economic values of forest recreation. Minister Coughlan concluded by wishing the venture every success.

15 May 2007

Date Released: 15 May 2007