Mayor of Athlone Municipal District, Cllr John Dolan, welcomed Minister Heather Humphreys to Moate on Saturday to see for herself the great community work happening in the town and to see where the €70,000 allocated under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme will be spent.
The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs spent the afternon and evening meeting local residents and visiting community groups.
Cllr Dolan said the Minister was “very impressed” at the way in whcih the town had progressed in recent years.
“We visited Moate Performing and Visual Art Club, Tuar Ard, Moate Library, Moate Action Group and Dún Na Sí, finishing with a meeting with local Fine Gael members and groups. The Minister was struck by the way so many groups could come together under the Moate Action Group umbrella and work together for the benefit of the town and surrounds.
“She was delighted to see such enthusiasm from Dancezone to the forthcoming Heartland Heritage Festival to the plans for Dún na Sí Park, and she is happy to support this in any way that she can into the future,” said Cllr Dolan.
He added that the Minister was interested to see how Moate could be used as a template for the renewal of rural Ireland.
“Minister Humphreys wishes to visit us again to see how our latest projects have progressed as she sees Moate as a model for other towns around the country. I am confident of her full support for the town going forward and will continue to work hard to continue to secure more funding for Moate and surrounding areas.”
The Minister attended at the request of Deputy Peter Burke, who tabled a debate on Moate in the Dáil a number of weeks ago.
“There was a debate on the Action Plan for Rural Ireland a number of weeks ago in the Dáil and I took the opportunity to address the chamber on the great work being done and initiative being shown in communities in Westmeath such as Moate.
“I was really happy to see the eagerness of a Government Minister visit rural Ireland and Moate is a fantastic example of communities coming together to bring tourism and promote our fantastic and cultural heritage,” said Deputy Burke.