Minister Michael Ring
A fund of €1.5m could benefit people accessing cancer treatment and those with significant mobility issues in Carlow.
The measure will support applications of up to €50,000 for a wheelchair accessible vehicle and €100,000 for a bus.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, on Friday announced details of the Mobility and Cancer Care Transport Measure, which is part of his Department’s CLÁR Programme.
This new €1.5 million measure will support the purchase of vehicles by voluntary organisations in CLÁR areas that provide transport services to people for cancer treatment and for persons with significant mobility issues in order to enable them to access support.
CLÁR provides funding for small scale capital projects in specified rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation.
The fund aims to support voluntary organisations that provide:
· transport to/from designated cancer treatment hospitals/centres under the National Cancer Care Programme or
· transport for people with significant mobility issues to day care or other medical, therapeutic or respite services including, requiring specialised wheelchair accessible vehicles
Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to announce, the CLÁR programme will now support voluntary organisations that provide transport services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. A modest investment under the CLÁR scheme, such as the provision of a bus or a wheelchair accessible vehicle, can have a significant impact on individuals and their families in a rural community.
“It is only right that we should support the voluntary groups which provide transport to our sick and vulnerable citizens in order to enable them to access treatment and support. The provision of this funding is a recognition by the Government of the wonderful work being done at community level in order to allow these people to access treatment.
“Having access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle in your area can mean the difference between being able to avail of day care, respite and other services or being confined to home. It’s as simple as that. This funding will also help people receiving treatment for cancer to get to their appointments and will make a huge difference to affected families in rural areas.”
Minister Ring added: “One of the strategic objectives of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy is to strengthen rural economies and communities.
"The CLÁR programme is helping to improve the quality of life in rural communities and is an important part of the Government’s integrated strategy for rural development which will be supported through the new Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
"This fund will provide an additional €1 billion to be invested directly into rural communities by my Department up to 2027.”
Qualifying voluntary organisations should apply by the August 31 deadline.
The scheme will provide up to 85% of the total cost of a vehicle/fit out. Matching funding of at least 15% will be required. Full details of the new CLÁR Measure are available on the Department’s website at www.drcd.gov.ie
Areas targeted under the CLÁR Programme are parts of counties Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wicklow and all of County Leitrim.