Ireland's official tourism agency, Failte Ireland, has earmarked €68 million in EU 'Just Transition' funding to help eight counties shift their economy from cutting peat for fuel to hosting visitors.
The funds will be used to help the midland counties develop new trails, visitor amenities and 'low-carbon accommodation.' €30 million of the funds will go to a network of walking, cycling and water-based trails, re-using former narrow-gauge rail track, industrial bridges and culverts.
The Just Transition program was created to support regions and communities negatively impacted by transition to climate neutrality; under the program Ireland is to receive up to €84.5 million through 2027; with matching funds from the Irish government, the total aid could grow to €169 million.
The counties chosen by Failte Ireland have relatively little tourism trade, and peat-cutting is among their major industries. Because it is being phased out as a high-pollution fuel, they are particularly affected.