The elected members of Mayo County Council have agreed that the council will spend €120,000 required for match funding of €480,000 from the government, in order to carry out improvement works on the trail to the summit of Croagh Patrick.
Outlining the need for the funding at the council's October meeting, John Condon, director of services for Mayo County Council, stated: ""The path by which people climb Croagh Patrick needs to be renewed because there has been so much traffic on the mountain over the last 30 or 40 years.
"So if we don't do something with it, it will become more dangerous and future generations might not be able to climb the mountain in the numbers that currently do so.
"An application was submitted to the Department of Community and Rural Development and they have approved funding of €480,000 and the council will have to provide €60,000 per annum for two years in order to match this funding.
"I would like to thank the members of the Westport-Belmullet Municipal District who have supported this project since its inception and Martin Keating in the environment section of the council, along with the community who have brought this project this far to get approval for it."
The adoption of the project was proposed by independent Cllr Christy Hyland, who said: "I'd like to acknowledge the great work done by the Croagh Patrick stakeholders group and the landowners who have put a lot of time into this for the past number of years. No more than Ireland West Airport is vital to our county, the amount of tourism Croagh Patrick brings is essential to our county."
Independent Cllr Johno O'Malley seconded the proposal saying that he hoped the works would see less people needing to receive medical treatment after accidents on the mountain. He said: "I'd like to second it, I'm delighted this money is coming forward. I live opposite it across the bay and I see the rescue helicopter going up there quite often and hopefully, when this work is done, it will make it safer and easier to climb.
"This summer we saw the amount of people who were climbing it. Like Cllr Hyland I would like to thank the landowners, because without them this would not be possible, like the greenways before it."