The Deputy lobbied hard for the scheme, which did not exist for many years. The LIS is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas. It is funded by my Department and administered through the local authorities.
As the Deputy may be aware, there was no dedicated funding for the scheme for a number of years due to constraints on public expenditure. I was conscious, however, of the underlying demand for the scheme in rural areas throughout the country, which is why I announced the provision of €10 million to local authorities for a LIS in September 2017. Based on demand and the capacity of local authorities to complete works before the end of 2017, I allocated a further €7.4 million to local authorities for LIS roads in November last year.
In February of this year, I allocated €10.8 million to local authorities across the country under the 2018 LIS scheme, given the continuing level of demand for this funding in rural communities across Ireland. I also asked the local authorities to prepare a secondary list of roads which they could complete if further funding became available for the scheme during the year. Furthermore, on 26 October, I announced a further round of almost €10 million in funding to the local authorities. The allocations on a county-by-county basis for both of these rounds of funding are available on my Department's website.
For the Deputy's information, County Offaly was allocated €290,765 under the first round of the LIS this year, and an additional €353,889 was allocated under the second round, giving a total allocation of €644,654 to advance LIS works in 2018.
It is clear there is a continuing demand for LIS funding in rural communities across Ireland, and I have secured an allocation of €10 million in my Department's Vote for 2019, which will enable me to continue to provide much needed funding for the LIS.